Cindy Klassen on “HEROES IN OUR MIDST”

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Presented by Elite Sports Injury

No doubt, when you hear the name Cindy Klassen, speed skating and Olympic medals come to mind. SIX Olympic medals, to be exact. The whole world was talking about Cindy Klassen in 2006, when she won FIVE of them in one Winter Games!

But who knew who she really was? YOU will, when you listen to her story. It includes entering a bike race in grade 5 with one of her best friends, and her dad whispering in her ear “Go out as hard as you can and don’t look back.” It seems she took that advice for the rest of her life and never did look back.

Cindy Klassen is a “Hero in our Midst” for more than just her speed on the ice. She is more than happy to blend in with the rest of us humans. But much to her chagrin, there are so many reasons she stands out. Sit back and listen as Cindy even lets us inside of her head throughout her journey and on her way to an Olympic gold medal performance! Be prepared to be inspired by one of the most impressive people we know.

“As soon as the gun sounds, get out in front of everybody, and go as hard as you can for the whole race” (Cindy’s Dad whispered in her ear she entered a bike race as a young child). And it seems that’s what she did for the rest of her life.

BUT WAIT! DID YOU KNOW?

The legendary Cindy Klassen originally had a dream to go to the Olympics for hockey in 1998! She did everything in her power to become a great hockey player, and she went to the team try outs in 1997.  She thought the tryouts went well and she’d done her best. And she was cut.

“I was devastated. It was just heartbreaking finding out that the dream I’d had for years wasn’t going to come true for me.”

DEVELOP A RESILIENT MINDSET

She didn’t give up. She decided  to move to Calgary where she would get a chance  to attend some practices  with the national team.

Due to self-proclaimed embarrassing factors, that didn’t work out either. It seemed hockey was over for her, all her high school sports were also over, and she was looking for something to do. Her parents  suggested speed skating, which initially did not appeal  to her at all.

But she finally gave it a try, and it was so much harder than she thought it was going to be!

“There I was at 18 years old, just struggling to make my way around the ice surface, hoping that I wasn’t going to fall down, and little five-year-old kids are flying past me. So, it was a very humbling experience.”

Despite the struggle, she decided  to continue training, hoping to improve her skating skills for hockey.

“I think I liked the challenge. I wanted to see what I could do.”

And now, looking back on her failed hockey try out, she reflects,

“There were some  outstanding hockey  players there. It was an honor to be able to go to those tryouts. They unfortunately didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. But that’s the way life goes sometimes.”

And in Cindy’s case, becoming a nationally recognized hero in another sport might never have happened otherwise.

BECOME EMOTIONALLY AGILE

That didn’t mean it was easy. After a mistaken false start at her first World Cup, she learned from her mistakes and got better. Only a few years later, she was at the 2002 Olympics.

“Leading up to my first race, I was extremely nervous. I couldn’t believe it. This was the biggest competition of my life and something that I had always dreamed of. It felt to me like the whole world was watching.”

She was so nervous that she had trouble eating and sleeping. Then after getting emails from teachers and students  at her former high school, it hit her;

“I had done all the preparation I could. I couldn’t change anything at that point. I was as ready as I was going to be. And so, I didn’t have to be nervous.”

And the rest is 3-time Olympic, 6-time medal winning, record breaking history.

Listen to the full podcast episode here

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