Catriona Le May Doan is at it again. She’s bringing her winning ways to help athletes and there’s no better timing.

Next Thursday, she will host the Casino Royal fundraiser for Olympic athletes. Le May Doan’s efforts mean a series of $1,000 bursaries for female hockey players, speedskaters, and cyclists who train at the Olympic Oval.

The training facility itself is supplying plenty of Casino Royal intrigue of its own.

When Oval staff rejected my son’s free skating pass recently, I sensed desperation. The pass had no expiry date yet there was a kerfuffle.

The Winsport endowment that finances the Oval was invested in more than 50 per cent equities. It’s coming up short, losing $9 million in 2007-08 alone. This meant Winsport couldn’t meet its two-thirds commitment of the $2.98-million Olympic year budget so it transferred money from another endowment to meet its obligations. U of C and Win the Podium pitched in and saved the day.

It’s next year we have to worry about, and the year after.

The Olympic Oval opened in 1987 for the 1988 Calgary Olympics. A $33-million Olympic endowment fund was established to ensure its maintenance.

What’s next? The Winsport annual general meeting is next week, and the financial figures can’t be good.

There’s been a proposal to transfer the financing of the Oval to the university. It seems to make sense.

Current budget meetings between the government, U of C and Winsport are said to be arduous affairs.

It’s not just Olympic athletes who need the facility. The ice sheets, running track and oval track are used by ordinary citizens.

The Oval’s financial future needs to be secured. Even the remarkable Le May Doan can’t skate her way out of this much Casino Royal intrigue next year.