Klassen leans toward another skating season

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET

Cindy Klassen says she’s leaning toward competing again next speed skating season.

The 30-year-old Winnipegger, one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians with six career medals, had said at the Vancouver Games that she was considering retirement.

But during a Thursday promotional appearance for one of her Winnipeg sponsors, Klassen said the thought of gearing up for next fall’s World Cup circuit appeals to her.

“Right now I do feel like that, like I have that itch to keep going,” Klassen said. “I love the sport. I’m definitely leaning towards going, but it’s hard to say right now.”

A year and a half removed from surgery to repair both her knees, Klassen was nowhere near her top form in Vancouver, finishing well off the podium and still experiencing some pain in her knees.

Four years earlier, in Turin, she won medals in all five of her events.

“It’s hard sometimes thinking about where you’ve been before, and trying to get back to that level,” she said. “But for me it was a blessing just to be there and race in front of a home crowd.”

But Klassen says the idea of erasing her last Olympic memory and going out on top, or at least closer to the top, isn’t what will carry her decision.

“I don’t know if that matters so much. I’ve always said that once it becomes work, then I’d be done. If I’m not having fun with it, I’ll be finished. Even though I’m not on the top right now, I still really enjoy it. Trying to get back, that challenge is what motivates me.”

Even if she does continue her comeback, it doesn’t mean she’ll automatically set her sights on Sochi, Russia, and the 2014 Winter Games.

“I would probably take it one year at a time if I continue,” Klassen said. “Four years is a long time. But Clara (Hughes) did so well, and she’s 37 years old, and there have been other female speed skaters who have done well in their mid-30s. But we’ll see how it goes.”

Klassen says she’ll have to make a decision soon, because training for next season would begin by the middle of May.


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