Cathy Priestner Allinger

Catherine Ann “Cathy” Priestner Allinger is an athlete and member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. She won the silver medal for speed skating during the 1976 Winter Olympics.

She was born Catherine Ann Priestner in Windsor, Ontario on May 27, 1956.

At the age of 11, Cathy moved with her family from Hamilton, ON to Winnipeg, MB. She started ice skating with friends in Winnipeg’s River Heights Speed Skating Club and soonCathy Priestner Allinger began training for competitive speed skating. Cathy advanced so quickly that she won her first national championship that same year. She would go on to compete in the 1972 and 1976 Winter Olympics, claiming silver in the 500m event at the ’76 Games and becoming the first female Canadian speed skating medalist. She carried the torch during the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics and carried Canada’s flag during the closing of the Games. By this time Cathy had retired from active competition and began working in an organizational role for the 1988, 2002, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, making her the first woman to head the sports function of an Olympic Game. She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1994 and was recipient of the Olympic Order in 2002. She has been married to Todd Allinger since 1986.


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Judd, Ron c. The Winter Olympics: An insider’s guide to the legends, the lore, and the games: Vancouver edition. Mountaineers Books, 2009.

Robertson, Sheila. “Catherine Priestner Allinger – A woman of firsts.” Canadian journal for women in coaching online. Jan. 2009, Vol. 9, No. 1. Web. Accessed Jan 22, 2019.