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Cindy Klassen

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Cindy Klassen ((born August 12, 1979 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) played for the Canadian Under 19 women's hockey team in 1996. She is a descendant of Mennonite immigrants to Manitoba and is a graduate of Maple Leaf School in the North Kildonan area of Winnipeg and Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in the Elmwood area of Winnipeg.

HockeyEdit

She started her sports career as an ice hockey player at Gateway Community Club in Winnipeg; in her youth she played for the Canadian National Youth Team. When the Canadian Under 19 women's hockey team was founded on May 15, 1996, Klassen was one of the defenders on the team. [1] The head coach was Daniele Sauvageau[2] and one of her teammates was future Olympic gold medallist Caroline Ouellette. Klassen participated in a three game series against the United States in Lake Placid, New York.. On July 8, 1996, she scored the lone goal in a loss to the United States. On July 9, 1996, Klassen scored the game winning goal against the US as Canada prevailed 6-3.[3] In the last game of the series, Canada lost 6-3 but Klassen had her third goal in as many games. When she wasn't selected for the 1998 Winter Olympics, she switched to speed skating and soon she proved to be a natural talent.

Speed skatingEdit

Cindy Klassen missed the entire 2003-2004 season due to a serious injury: she fell during training, colliding with another skater, hitting his skate, and as a result cutting 12 tendons in her right arm.

In 2006, she announced she would not carry the Canadian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, although she had not yet been asked. The flag was instead carried by women's ice hockey veteran Danielle Goyette.

Klassen became the first Canadian to win five medals in one Olympic Games. With this achievement, she tied American Eric Heiden's record of five medals won at an Olympics (1980) by a speedskater. At the same time, she overtook the previous Canadian record of most medals (three) in 1984, held by Gaetan Boucher. Cindy Klassen also became the first female speed skater to win 5 medals in a single Olympics, surpassing Lidiya Skoblikova's 4 medals in the 1964 Olympics. Combined with her bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, she became the first Canadian to win six career Olympic medals, surpassing the five medal mark set previously by Marc Gagnon and Phil Edwards (and matched in the same race by winner Clara Hughes at the same 2006 Winter Olympic games.

ReferencesEdit

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