Cindy Klassen in the women's 1500m at the Canada Single Distance Championship 2013 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Alberta, on January 4, 2013. (QMI Agency/MIKE DREW)
CALGARY - Cindy Klassen understands the inevitable.
One day — and maybe one day soon — the six-time speed-skating Olympic medallist will hang up her blades and move on.
If it were up to the 33-year-old Winnipeg native, she’d be able to stave off retirement for another 400 days or so, after she soaks in what would be her fourth Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
But Klassen is a realist.
“If I qualify for the next Games, then that’ll be it. I’m getting pretty old,” Klassen said with a grin, following her fourth-place finish Friday in the 1,500 metres at the 2013 Canadian Single Distance Championships at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. “I really have my work cut out for me, that’s for sure. Based off of these trials and how the fall went, I’ve had probably the worst results I’ve had in a number of years.
“I need to improve quite a bit if I want to qualify for the Games (in 2014).”
When the book does finally close on Klassen’s storied career, she’ll not