Cindy Klassen, most decorated athlete at 2006 Olympics, expected to retire

Cindy Klassen
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Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen, who won a Games-leading five medals at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics, is expected to announce her retirement at a press conference scheduled for Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

Klassen, 35, won six Olympic medals total, highlighted by 1500m gold in 2006, and tied with fellow speed skater (and cyclist) Clara Hughes for the most Olympic medals earned by a Canadian.

She also claimed five World Allround Championships medals, including two golds, and 11 World Single Distance Championships medals.

She leads the women’s Adelskalender, a calculation averaging personal-best times over a career for all speed skaters in history, which favors more recent skaters given times are faster now than a decade or two ago. It’s arguable Klassen, whose 1500m and 3000m world records from 2005 and 2006 still stand, is the greatest female speed skater of all time. (Shani DavisSven Kramer and Chad Hedrick are the top three in the men’s Adelskalender)

At Torino 2006, Klassen was hailed as the “woman of the Games” by then-International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

She competed in her third Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and skated internationally for the last time in 2013.

Christine Nesbitt, who won Olympic 1000m gold at Vancouver 2010, retired earlier this month.

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