Cindy Klassen - Questions and Answers
Q. How was your experience of the Olympics?
A. I had a wonderful time at the Olympics! It was an incredible honour to race in front of the homecrowd with thousands of Canadians cheering us on.
Q. In the Olympics Games you have attended, do you think the IOC did a good job making the Olympic village a good place to meet other athletes and make friends?
A. Absolutely! Although I didn't stay in the village this time around, I had a chance to visit, and there were many opportunities to meet new people. The cafeteria is the best example where athletes from all the different countries come together to eat. There are also games rooms, and workout centres which provide more chances to make new friends.
Q. Did you make friends with anyone from a different country in the Olympic village?
A. In the 2006 Olympics I met an athlete from Great Britain in the cafeteria, and we became friends.
Q. Do you think the Olympic peace truce is working around the world?
A. I think the Olympics are a great example how we can all live in peace, regardless of our heritage or nationality. It's great to see the world come together at the Games and celebrate sport and the human spirit. My hope is that this attitude is contagious and reaches around the world.
Q. What inspired you to go to the Olympics?
A. I remember watching the Olympics at a young age, and seeing athletes strive for excellence in their sport. This rubbed off on me, and I wanted to see if by believing in myself, I could one day make it to the Games as well.
Q. How are you feeling and how are your knees progressing?
A. I am thrilled about the upcoming season. There will be many challenges, and that makes it very exciting for me. My knees are progressing in the right direction, and getting back on the ice again has been a great feeling. Every day I give my training up to God and leave it in His hands. This fuels my preparation and I have confidence because I know He is in control.
Q. How much will your memorable performance in Turin be a motivator in Vancouver , or do you put that out of mind?
A. Torino is something I look back on with fond memories, but it's not something that I use for motivation. I use it as a tool to learn from, but I like to look forward because next year will be a whole new experience.
Q. This being your third Olympics, do you do anything differently now -- in terms of training, preparation or during the race -- than perhaps in 2002?
A. The biggest difference is experience. The days just prior to my first race in 2002 I could hardly eat because I was so nervous. My coach ended up taking me to McDonald's the night before so that I could eat something that I enjoyed. At the last Olympics I felt calmer because I knew what to expect, and as I gain more and more race experience, I think my nerves tend to settle down.
Q. What's your favourite part of a race? Is there a particular moment that you like being in?
A. My favorite part of the race is probably the first and second lap in the 1500m when every stride into the ice is so explosive and you can feel the power in your legs.
Q. Canadians will see you for the first time on Olympic home turf next year. As they watch you on the start line, what will they be seeing? What are you thinking about, and what are you doing in the few minutes prior?
A. Before my race I'm usually praying. I just pray that I will skate for God's glory and to the best of my ability.
Q. At the risk of asking you something you've been asked so many times, tell me about the first time you put on speed skates.
A. First time on the ice I was 18 years old. I thought it would be like skating on hockey skates but just faster since the blades were so long. I ended up hardly being able to stand on them, and little five year old kids were flying by me. It was a very humbling experience!