February 26, 2006
Great skates icing on cake
In the last big Olympic push for Canada, racers bring home four medals
ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

Canadian athletes really have something to declare as they clear customs this week.

Entering the final day of competition today, the country's medal haul at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics stands at 24, following a quartet of medals earned yesterday in long- and short-track speed skating.

Calgary-based long-trackers Clara Hughes won gold and Cindy Klassen bronze, her fifth medal in Turin, in the women's 5,000-metre.

Short-tracker Francois-Louis Tremblay won silver in the men's 500-metre, then contributed to another silver-medal performance in the men's 5,000-metre relay.

Canada -- which sits third on the medal table, behind Germany (29) and the U.S. (25) -- is unlikely to reach its 25-medal goal in Turin, as the three Canucks entered in today's 50-km cross-country skiing race are not expected to reach the podium.

But Canadian athletes have smashed the country's record for most medals at the Winter Games.

The previous mark was 17.

Speed skating accounted for 12 of Canada's 24 medals -- eight in long track and four in short track.

Klassen and Hughes, both Winnipeggers, made history in the 5,000.

Klassen's bronze gives her six for her career, making the 26-year-old the most decorated Canadian in Olympic history.

Hughes, 33, who won two cycling medals at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, earlier in these Olympics became the first athlete to have multiple-medal performances in the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Gregg Planert, Olympic Oval race director in Calgary and Speed Skating Canada's chairman of high performance, said these two weeks have been phenomenal, especially for Klassen.

"It's an amazing feat by any Olympic athlete to have multiple medals, let alone a record five," he said.

The accomplishments provided great inspiration, Planert said, for the young skaters who left Calgary yesterday for the world junior championships in Germany.

Jeff Kitura, who trains with Klassen and Hughes with coaches Xiuli Wang and Arno Hoogveld, said the women are great role models.







Bios

Roster

History

Schedule

Preview

Men's 500m
Results
Past Champs

Men's 1,000m
Results
Past Champs

Men's 1,500m
Results
Past Champs

Men's 5,000m
Results
Past Champs

Men's 10,000m
Results
Past Champs

Men's Team Pursuit
Results
Past Champs

Women's 500m
Results
Past Champs

Women's 1,000m
Results
Past Champs

Women's 1,500m
Results
Past Champs

Women's 3,000m
Results
Past Champs

Women's 5,000m
Results
Past Champs

Women's Team Pursuit
Results
Past Champs