Cathy Turner began her speed skating career in the 1970s, winning the 1979 U.S. short-track title. But she retired in 1980 to pursue a singing and songwriting career. She was a bar singer in Las Vegas, under the name Nikki Newland. Inspired by the 1988 short-track demonstration events at Calgary, and trying to overcome clinical depression, when short-track speed skating became an Olympic sport in 1992, she came out of retirement and won the only individual event on the program, the 500 metres. She defended that title in 1994 at Lillehammer, and added relay medals (silver in 1992 and bronze in 1994) to give her four short-track medals in all. She was one of the few speed skaters to appear in Ice Capades, which she did in 1992, skating and singing. She also appeared on television as one of the American Gladiators.