Episode 8 features one of the greatest Olympians of all-time, Cindy Klassen!
After getting cut from the Canadian women’s national hockey team prior to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Klassen gave speedskating a try.
It ended up being a smart move, as Klassen would make her Olympic debut several years later at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City where she captured a bronze medal in the 3000m. That was only a taste of what was about to come in Klassen’s career.
Four years later in Turin, Klassen was the star of the Olympics. She won a Canadian record of five medals at the Games, including a gold medal in the 1500 m. Her grand total of six medals put her in a tie with fellow Winnipegger Clara Hughes for the most medals by a Canadian athlete. Her incredible performance at the 2006 Games led to her being named the recipient of the Lou Marsh Award — Canada’s Athlete of the Year.
Klassen was also able to capture 17 World Championship medals (including three gold medals) during her illustrious career before she retired in 2015. In 2017, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
On this episode, we talk about not making the Olympic hockey team, her initial feelings towards speedskating, her Olympic debut in 2002, the incredible five-medal performance in 2006, how she celebrated after the 2006 Games, fighting through injuries to qualify for the 2010 Games in Vancouver, winning the Lou Marsh Award over NBA MVP Steve Nash, having a recreation centre in Winnipeg being named after her and much more!