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Old 02-23-2002, 10:16 PM   #1
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clara hughes appreciation thread

another incredible individual story
Quote:
from http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/news/hughes_020223

Canada's Hughes becomes Summer/Winter Games medallist
German vet Pechstein wins third straight 5,000m in world-record time

Last Updated: Sat Feb 23 21:06:03 EST 2002
CBC SPORTS ONLINE - The speed skaters sent the records falling again in the 5,000-metre race at the Utah Olympic oval Saturday.

Clocking in with a record-breaking time of 6:46.91 minutes, Germany's Claudia Pechstein easily claimed gold, and Gretha Smit of the Netherlands moved at world-record pace to claim silver.

Winnipeg's Clara Hughes also set a unique record of her own. With her bronze-medal performance, she became the first Canadian and only the fourth athlete ever to win medals at both the Winter and Summer Games.

"I'm so happy, I feel like I'm going to throw up," a giddy Hughes told CBC after the race. "I just had to go out there and do it. I had the race of my life."

Christa Luding-Rothenburger, competing for East Germany, won four speed skating medals between 1984 and 1992. She also won silver in the match sprint cycling event in 1988, making her the only athlete to win both winter and summer medals in the same year.

Hughes crossed the line with a time of 6:53.53 -- just over the old standard set by Germany's Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, who is taking the season off to have a baby.

Hughes also won two bronze medals in cycling -- one in the road race and the other in the time trial -- at the 1996 Atlanta Games. An 18-time Canadian cycling champion, she also competed at the 2000 Sydney Games, but suffering from a bad cold, she finished out of the medals.

"A year ago, I thought about this race, and I thought my dream would be to be on the podium," she told the CBC after the race. "I shared that dream with my coach and my husband and those were the only two people. The three of us knew that it was possible, and I just had to go out there and have the race of my life."

Following a 10-year break from the sport, Hughes returned to speed skating in 2000. The next year, she was forced to make a decision between her cycling and skating careers. She eventually decided to commit fully to skating having competed in both sports for a season. After only seven weeks, Hughes made the national speed skating team and qualified for last season's final three World Cup events.

"I still need to learn how to skate, I have so much to learn," she said. "I just feel like the sky is the limit and this is just the beginning."

<snip>

[This message has been edited by kobayashi (edited 02-23-2002).]
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Old 02-23-2002, 11:57 PM   #2
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marc gagnon and jonathon guilmette take gold and silver in 500 metre short track race, and then later go on to take gold in the men's 5000 metre relay alongside Francois-Louis Tremblay and Mathieu Turcotte.

all together, with hughes bronze, it is the single most successful day canada has ever had at any olympics!
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Old 02-24-2002, 09:30 PM   #3
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yeah, I watched all of those events! Way to go Canadians! Good showing. And congrats to Mark Gagnon for finally winning an individual gold medal. The announcers were saying that he's been a real pioneer in the sport, so it was nice to see him get that medal.
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Old 02-24-2002, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
The announcers were saying that he's been a real pioneer in the sport, so it was nice to see him get that medal.
yeah he actually tied another canadian for the most medals for a single individual last night, the other man was a track & field star in the 20's i believe.

i actually though gagnon should have been the flag bearer for us this evening but sale & pelletier were the best representation of the canadian spirit i guess.
it was hard to go wrong either way
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Old 02-24-2002, 10:00 PM   #5
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yeah well that and Sale and Pelletier may be just a tad more recognizable and photogenic.

Hey just think...whenever it is that Canada hosts the Games again, you can have your 2002 gold-medal winning hockey team light the torch.

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