Posted by Editor on 12/28/05
Klassen is Canada's Female Athlete of the Year
Courtesy Speedskating Canada
Early in her speed skating career, Cindy Klassen was told she skated like a hockey player.
Not surprising, considering Klassen played hockey until she was 18, then took up long-track speed skating during her first year at university for something to do. Hockey's loss turned out to be Canada's gain as Klassen has blossomed into one of the world's best speed skaters and a medal threat at the Turin Winter Olympics in February.
An outstanding 2005 season, which saw her set four world records and win eight World Cup medals, made Klassen a decisive winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada's female athlete of the year in a survey by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.
"It's incredible," Klassen, a Winnipeg native who now lives and trains in Calgary, said in her typically modest fashion.
"Just doing the sport itself is so rewarding. To be honoured with something like this is something special. I'm really excited about that. It's quite an honour."
The award is named after Bobbie Rosenfeld, the track star who was Canada's female athlete of the half-century in 1950.
As she's done in so many races, Klassen dominated the field in this year's balloting, collecting 264 points and 71 first-place ballots in voting by sports editors and broadcasters across the country.
"Cindy Klassen continues to dominate in her sport," said Lorne Motley, deputy sports editor at the Calgary Herald.
Klassen, 26, also becomes the third speed skater in five years to win the award. Two-time Olympic gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan won in 2001 and 2002.
Christine Sinclair, the Burnaby, B.C., soccer player who led the University of Portland to an undefeated season and the NCAA championship, was second in this year's voting with 81 points and 14 first-place votes. Diver Blythe Hartley of North Vancouver, B.C., who won a gold medal in the one-metre springboard at last summer's world aquatic championships in Montreal, was third with 65 points and eight first-place votes.
Other women who received consideration included speed skater Clara Hughes of Winnipeg; moguls skier Jennifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta.; Olympic hockey team forward Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont.; cross-country skier Sara Renner of Canmore, Alta.; mountain biker Marie-Helene Premont of Chateau-Richer, Que.; and alpine skier Emily Brydon of Fernie, B.C.
Armstrong Takes Fourth AP Award
Lance Armstrong won his fourth Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year award for his seventh Tour de France title. He is the only athlete to have won the award four times. Armstrong took 30 of 83 votes cast. The Heisman Trophy-winning footbal player Reggie Bush was second.
One Day Left for Canadian Cyclist Awards
There is a little over 24 hours left before voting closes for the ninth annual Canadian Cyclist Awards. Cast your ballot before 9:00 pm EST tomorrow (Thursday, December 29th) by clicking on the Vote button in the upper right hand corner of your browser window.
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