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Cindy Klassen Voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year

January 3, 2006 – Winnipeg speed skater Cindy Klassen dominated the field to capture the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year.

An outstanding 2005 season, which saw her set four world records and win eight World Cup medals, made Klassen a decisive winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s female athlete of the year in a survey by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.

“It’s incredible,” Klassen, a Winnipeg native who now lives and trains in Calgary, said in her typically modest fashion. “Just doing the sport itself is so rewarding. To be honoured with something like this is something special. I’m really excited about that. It’s quite an honour.”

Klassen, 26, also becomes the third speed skater in five years to win the award. Two-time Olympic gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan won in 2001 and 2002. Early in her speed skating career Klassen was told she skated like a hockey player.

The award is named after Bobbie Rosenfeld, the track star who was Canada’s female athlete of the half-century in 1950. Klassen was named the winner after collecting 264 points and 71 first-place ballots in a survey conducted by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.

Christine Sinclair, the Burnaby, B.C., soccer player who led the University of Portland to an undefeated season and the NCAA championship, was second in this year’s voting with 81 points and 14 first-place votes. Diver Blythe Hartley of North Vancouver, B.C., who won a gold medal in the one-metre springboard at last summer’s world aquatic championships in Montreal, was third with 65 points and eight first-place votes.

Also considered for the award were speed skater Clara Hughes of Winnipeg (4th with 54 points); moguls skier Jennifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta.; Olympic hockey team forward Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont.; cross-country skier Sara Renner of Canmore, Alta.; mountain biker Marie-Hélène Prémont of Chateau-Richer, Que. (8th with 24 points); and alpine skier Emily Brydon of Fernie, B.C.

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