Cindy Klassen switched from competitive ice hockey to speed skating and went on to win five medals at the 2006 Turin Winter Games.
Ice hockey hopes
At the age of two, Cindy Klassen was given a hockey stick and a pair of skates by her father. She soon became a passionate ice hockey player and hoped to be selected for the Canadian team to compete in the Olympic Games. Her disappointment at not being selected led her to give up the sport.
Turns to skating
The young Canadian then turned to speed skating to improve her physical fitness. In 1999, she won her first races and a junior World Championship title. At the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, she announced herself on the international stage by claiming a bronze medal in the 3,000m.
Four years later in Turin, the Canadian was now one of the favourites. She won bronze in the 3,000m and silver in the team relay and 1,000m. Then in the 1500m, her favourite event, she seized her chance and claimed her first Olympic title. Despite her fatigue, Cindy competed in the 5,000m a few days later and remarkably finished third.
Five from five
With five medals from five events, Cindy Klassen became the most successful Canadian woman at a single edition of the Olympic Games. In recognition of her achievements in Turin, she was chosen as the flag bearer for her delegation at the Closing Ceremony of those Games.