Winners: Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating
2005 - Feature Story
Cindy Klassen said a healthy dose of natural curiosity, of wanting to know how far she could go, always helped her persevere in speed skating. “I always want to know what’s over the next hill,’’ she said. In 2005, she came back from a serious arm injury. A bad gash from a skating accident cut 12 tendons. Klassen won eight World Cup medals that year adding, the overall standings at 1,500m to her credit. The World Championships would see her win the 1,500m and 3,000m, along with a Silver medal in the team pursuit. A World Record in the 1,500m set in Salt Lake City was still standing in 2011. She also counted three Canadian championships, at 500m, 1,500m and 3,000m.
2006 - Feature Story
Hockey’s loss was speed skating’s gain and at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy it was Canada’s gain like never before. Cindy Klassen, who had switched sports only eight years before, turned in an Olympic Games like few athletes in history. She won five Olympic medals in all, one Gold medal, two Silver medals and two Bronze medals, a staggering total considering no Canadian had ever before won even four medals in any one Olympic Games. A Bronze medal from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games at Salt Lake City, gave Cindy Klassen six in total tying, Clara Hughes for the most by any Canadian. Beyond the Olympic Games, Klassen was unstoppable. At the World Championships, she swept five categories, 500m, 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m and all-round, plus set world records in the 1,000m and 3,000m that still stood in 2011.
- 2006 Gold medal in the 1500m; Silver medals in the 1000m and Team Pursuit; Bronze medals in the 5000m and 3000m at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin
- 2006 Lou Marsh Memorial Award
- 2005, 2006 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s female athlete of the year)
- 2005 Gold medals in the 1500m and 3000m at the World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in Inzell, Germany
- 2003, 2006 World Allround Speed Skating Champion
Cindy Klassen skating to Gold in the 5000m race at the World Championship Allround speed skating event in Calgary.
Date: March 19, 2006
Collection: CP photo/Larry MacDougal