February 11, 2006
Future stars wait quietly
PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

TURIN, Italy -- They are two of the "other" Manitoba long trackers at the Winter Games, skating in the long shadow cast by medal favourite Cindy Klassen.

So you couldn't blame Winnipeg's Shannon Rempel and Brittany Schussler for being a little surprised anybody wanted to interview them at speed skating's meet-the-media session here this week.

SWARMED

"It's only my second interview," a grinning Rempel said as Klassen continued to be swarmed by reporters across the room.

And Schussler, a Team Canada alternate nobody seemed interested in talking to, had this snappy response to an initial question about all the attention her all-star teammate was getting.

"Oh, so it really is about Cindy," Schussler cracked.

Rempel and Schussler don't mind taking a back seat now. After all, their time will come.

In fact, their families can probably book their flights to Vancouver 2010 any time, because even though Klassen figures to still be around, the next Games should be the coming-out party for both.

Rempel, 21, and Schussler, 20, represent a good chunk of the future of the sport; Rempel as a powerful sprinter, Schussler a technical marvel adept at the middle distances.

Both are experiencing the Olympics for the first time here, and they're soaking it up.

"I'm quite excited to be part of it," Rempel said.

She will compete in the 500 metres, the 1,000 and the 1,500, individual events in which Rempel is hoping for a best finish of top eight.

It's the team pursuit she's focused on, though, because that's her best chance at a medal -- in part, because of the dominance of Klassen.

Schussler is on a bit more of a roller-coaster, emotionally. As an alternate, she's in the Olympics, but she's not.

The most important part of Schussler's Olympic experience will be just that: the experience.

"Going into Vancouver, it's going to be a big thing if I'm going to contend for a medal." she said. "I'm going to do my best to learn ... and not only do my best, but win a medal."

If that happens, the days of being ignored at news conferences will be over.







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