Cindy Klassen has had a strong season. She is the world record holder in the 1,500m and 3,000m events. So logically, she is a favourite to win the gold metal in 3,000m at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torrino, Italy. She ended up with the bronze.
She thought that she could handle the ice and started off too fast but ran out of gas at the end. She nearly stumbled around the last turn. Nonetheless, she is contented with the bronze metal. And those close to her are still very proud of her.
"I think I started out a little fast," Klassen reiterated. "Third is good enough."
Former Olympic speed skater Kevin Marshall, whose brother, Neal, is Klassen’s coach, gave her a thumbs up for leaving everything on the ice. "She gets an ‘A’ for effort, that’s for sure. She put in everything she had," said Marshall.
"You expect gold and everything," her father Jake Klassen said. "But I really think she did as good as she could."
"It’s great to win a bronze medal," Klassen said. "But I just want to focus on the next races coming up." "I left it out there," she said. "That’s what I need to do in the next races. I don’t want to change anything."
Klassen is the "Golden Girl" who is expected to bring home the gold. If she wins metals in all the events she enters, she will be the most decorated athletes in Canadian Olympic history. A bronze metal is a bit of a dissapointment, for sure. But that is no reason to diminish her accomplishment. After all, Olympic Games is about challenging one’s limit as an athlete, not about winning. Well, at least it’s not JUST about winning.
I vaguely recall that at the last Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, a Canadian skier finished somewhere behing the 10th spot. But the commentator was very excited. She said something like: "She should be very happy about that time. It was a good race. It’s her personal best. And at this level, she should be proud of that." Some people may say that this kind of attitude is pathetic. But this is why I adore Canadians. It could be a stereotype, but I love our nice, encouraging, always positive image. Of course, when it comes to hockey, that’s another story.
Referred Sources: CANOE Network, CBC Sports
Update on Feb 23, 2006:
Cindy Klassen won the gold metal in the 1,500m race, her strongest distance, on Feb 22. Winning four metals in a single Olympic, she set a record in Canadian Olympic history. Way to go!
On the other hand, the Men’s Hockey Team lost to Russia and had to come home empty-handed. Great, now we have to put up with all the whining and criticism for the next 4 years. I know hockey is the heart and blood of Canada. But hey, we just didn’t play well enough. Scoreless for 11 of the last 12 periods played?! That can’t win the gold, man.