Let's eat

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

Wrapping up one of the most dominating seasons in speed skating history yesterday with a world allround title, Cindy Klassen said her goals now revolve around dirt biking, hockey, and, well, pigging out.

"I'm hoping to eat a lot of chocolate," said the 26-year-old speed skater, who now has two months off to relax and celebrate her dream season.

"I haven't played hockey for a long time and a bunch of us want to get together and play in the next few weeks. I'm kind of hoping it'll be street hockey because I don't think I can skate on hockey skates anymore."

A former hockey player who took up speed skating at 18 after being snubbed by the national team, the Winnipeg native has adapted fairly well to the bigger blades, winning her second allround title yesterday at the Oval by breaking the points record with wins in all four races.

"I put in three personal bests so I don't think the weekend could have gone any better than that," said Klassen. "I'm super happy with how the whole season went. I look back and think it couldn't have gone any better."

Citing a 1,500 race here in the fall, which she said was her only disappointing performance of the year, the winner of five Olympic medals in Turin admitted she has mixed feelings on the season ending.

"I'm a little sad that it's over because it's been a really fun ride," said Klassen, still debating whether she'll race in this weekend's Oval Finale event.

"I'm going to be pretty excited to take time off and relax and put all my (skating gear) in my closet and not worry about it until September."

Unsure exactly how she'll spend her down time, Canada's newest and biggest sports star hopes it will include dirt biking at her parents Manitoba cottage, maybe a warm weather retreat and plenty of time with her friends in Calgary.

One thing she won't be doing is mirroring Clara Hughes' career by parlaying her speed, power and endurance on the ice to the bike for a shot at summer Games glory.

"I'm terrible on the bike," laughed Klassen. "When we do hills in training, I'm always the last one off the back. I'm really bad, so there's no way."

Already being positioned as the poster girl for Vancouver 2010, Klassen surprised a few yesterday when the six-time Olympic medalist said her third Games will likely act as her swan song.

"The next Olympics will probably be my last one," said Klassen, already inundated with appearance requests.

"I can't say for sure, it depends how I feel after but I feel like there'll probably be a lot of other things I want to do. Over the next four years I'll probably figure out what they are."

Boosted all weekend by sold out crowds that often stood as she circled the Oval with interval times that consistently upped the decibel level, Klassen said the rare four-race sweep will rank as one of her greatest weekends.

"The Olympics definitely rank No. 1 but this was a highlight for sure," said Klassen, who pushed herself to improve her top 5,000 time by almost three seconds despite a 30-second cushion heading into the event's final race.

"It's really special to be able to race in front of the hometown crowd. During the race, I kept saying: 'This is the last 5K of the year so give it my all and relax.' I remember, at one point, thinking 'my suit is so sweaty and I can't wait to get it off.' "

It's off now and so is the pressure. For two months, anyway.


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