Saturday, February 1, 2014

Olympic exhibit opens at Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame


Cindy Klassen
Six-time Olympic medallist Cindy Klassen helped open the inaugural Olympic exhibit at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame
On the eve of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the display will celebrate the success of Manitobans in Winter Olympics, such as Klassen, Susan Auch, and Clara Hughes in speed skating, hockey gold medalist Jonathan Toews, and the Winnipeg Falcons, who won the 1920 Olympic hockey gold medal.

"I'm honoured to be a small part of this tremendous salute to Manitoba's Olympians," Klassen said. "It's so important to celebrate our success and I hope that this exhibit inspires athletes to believe in themselves. I want to give them the courage to dream and hope, and to strive for excellence in their lives."

The Olympic exhibit will be on display at the Sport for Life Centre from now until June 8, and features both loaned and donated items from Manitoba's Olympians, including Klassen's 2006 bronze medal and her 2010 skin suit.

"It's so beautiful, it's bringing back a lot of memories," said Klassen, who pointed out a picture of her hugging Hughes at the 2006 Olympics. "When I shared that moment with Clara, it was unreal and just very special to me ... standing on the podium with her and singing the national anthem. That was the end of the Olympics in 2006, the last race, and it was just a huge highlight for me."

Klassen overcame a significant injury to become Manitoba's most decorated Winter Olympian -- a picture of inspiration for young hopefuls.
"You can't mention the word inspiration without talking about all of the great athletes we've had here in Manitoba, and the most inspirational -- not only to Manitobans but to Canadians -- is Cindy Klassen," said Jeff Hnatiuk, Sport Manitoba's president and CEO. "Our Hall of Fame is the perfect place to celebrate our Winter Olympic triumphs and encourage future champions."
Klassen, meanwhile, failed to make it to this year's Olympics.

"It was very disappointing not being able to make it to these Game," said Klassen, 34. "I will be watching in front of the TV ... There will be moments where it will be hard, for sure, just wishing that I was out there. But that's the way it goes sometimes and now, I'm looking to the future, whatever that may be."

Jim Bender | WinnipegSun

No comments:

Post a Comment