Cindy Klassen named Canada's female athlete of the year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Speed skater Cindy Klassen was voted as the 2006 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award's female athlete of the year, on Wednesday. Her second time winning the honour, she was given the award for winning five medals at the 2006 winter Olympic games in Turin, Italy, in February.

Klassen had 131 of 144 first-place ballots in voting by sports editors and broadcasters. The editors and broadcasters were surveyed by the Canadian Press and Broadcast News. She finished at 412 points in the Canadian Press award voting. Clara Hughes, of Winnipeg, was second with 104 points and three first-place votes.

Hayley Wickenheiser, of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, had five first-place votes and finished third with 83 points. Wickenheiser helped the Canadian women's hockey team win Olympic gold in Turin.

"There were so many good moments," Klassen said. "I just had so much fun with my team at the Games."

Klassen will also be racing in the 2010 winter Olympic games in Vancouver, British Columbia and in nearby Whistler, British Columbia, a popular snow skiing destination.

"It's such a tremendous opportunity, to be able to race in your home country and have the home crowd," Klassen said. "You have such a huge advantage."

"I'll be 30 then. I hope I get stronger and that I'll be peaking at that age," she said. "As I've seen with a lot of speed skaters, your career goes up and down. I'll just keep trying and hope for the best."

Klassen, a Winnipeg, Manitoba native, was also awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy this year. Her five medals made her Canada's most decorated Olympian. She also won the bronze medal in the 3,000 at Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.