Cindy Klassen to visit Gimli for sports 'leadHERship' conference

Winnipegger and six-time Olympic medallist Cindy Klassen, who is now an officer with the Calgary Police Service, will be the keynote speaker at Sport Manitoba's Bison Transport Sport LeadHERship Conference at Lakeview Resort in Gimli, Man. on Oct. 4 and 5, 2019. (File photo: Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Herald/Postmedia Network)

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One of Canada’s most successful Olympic athletes is returning to her home province for a conference in Gimli on women and girls in sport.

Six-time Olympic medallist and former Winnipegger Cindy Klassen will be the keynote speaker at the Bison Transport Sport LeadHERship Conference hosted by Sport Manitoba to take place at Lakeview Resort on Oct. 4 and 5. She will deliver her speech on Oct. 5 at 9:15 a.m.

Klassen is considered to be one of the greatest long-track speed skaters of all time and her six Olympic medals is tied with fellow Winnipegger and speed skater Clara Hughes for the most all-time by a Canadian athlete. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, she became the first speed skater and the only Canadian athlete to win five medals at a single Olympic Games. After her retirement in 2015, Klassen is currently an officer with the Calgary Police Service.

“We were really fortunate … Her roots are always back in Manitoba, she’s been involved in various events that Sport Manitoba has hosted,” Shannon Schade, East Region Sport Development Officer for Sport Manitoba said to The Interlake Spectator.

The conference, which is open to people of all genders, is being held for the second time after last year’s inaugural event in Winkler. It is designed to help empower women and girls to become leaders in sport and in their communities.

“It’s a great opportunity, especially for those living in the Interlake region,” Schade added.

The schedule includes sessions on principles in sport, promoting sport in communities and the importance of well-being. There will also be a panel discussion on engaging females in sport, which will include Winnipegger and 13-time Paralympic medallist swimmer Kirby Cote.

“We want to share some information and support our existing female coaches and leaders and volunteers and so forth and give them some valuable advice,” Schade added.

You can register for the conference online at: