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Readers react: And the greatest female Olympian of all time is...

Christine Sinclair (12) of Canada celebrates her goal against Mexico with teammates during the first half of their semi-final CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying soccer match in Vancouver, British Columbia January 27, 2012.


As Canada's attention turns to the London Olympics, The Globe and Mail asked readers: Who do you think is the  greatest female Olympian of all time?

We received many submissions from across the country -- here's the round-up. Feel free to share your view by scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Chantal Petitclerc: "Courage, consistency, passion. She accomplished so much, she is an amazing source of inspiration for me and my generation."
Nominated by Annie Champagne, Montreal 

Cindy Klassen: "The only female athlete to have won seven medals."
Nominated by Susan Masil, Cobourg Ont.

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Nancy Greene: "She opened the sport of skiing to women around the world and put Canada on the map, ski-wise."
Nominated by Raymond Johns, Thorold Ont. 

Joannie Rochette: "She has always been a wonderful representative of Canada in women's figure skating, and has elevated our country's standing in the sport in ways few have during recent decades."
Nominated by Meaghan Baxter, Edmonton Alta.

Marnie McBean: "Simple: three gold medals."
Nominated by Brad Arndt, London Ont.

Bobbie Rosenfeld: "Her accomplishments in track and field were exceptional for the era she was competing in the late 1920s and 1930s."
Nominated by Jay Banks, Richmond B.C.

Barbara Ann Scott: "She was the only Canadian to win the ladies singles figure skating gold medal, the first North American to win three major titles in one year and the only Canadian to win the European Championship."
Nominated by Margaret Ommanney, Lower Argyle N.S.

Nancy Garapick: "She won Olympic medals against hulking East German swimmers who were bulked up on steroids.  That is AMAZING.  She would have been the Olympic champion several times over had the competition been fair. She is an unsung hero, in my opinion."
Nominated by Anne Davis, Kimberley B.C.

Clara Hughes: Not surprisingly, Clara was the overwhelming favourite of readers. In today's Globe and Mail, writer Sean Gordon also declared her the greatest female Olympian ever. Here's what readers had to say about Canada's Olympic double-threat.

"Clara not only competed in both the Summer and Winter Games but she medalled as well. To medal in the Olympics is an amazing feat but to do it in two different sports in two different games is an outstanding accomplishment.... I don't know of any athlete who is Swifter, Higher, or Stronger than Clara."
- Jeff Smyth, Oakbank Man

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"She inspires me to rethink what's possible for me in my own life and I think that's the mark of a real hero!"- Cary Tardi, Winnipeg "No one else can match her versatility, longevity and excellence."
- Ken Gryschuk, Saskatoon

"Clara Hughes in my opinion is the epitome of humility and driven passion that makes a superb athelete."
- Nancy Lee, Lethbridge Alta.

"Her athletic achievements are one thing.  But being an Olympian is about so much more. Clara has overcome so much and uses her fame for good.

"For our organization, Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation, she donated her $10,000 bronze medal bonus.  This in turn brought much media attention and subsequently, more donor dollars.  But this wasn't all she provided.  Clara came to meet our students.  She want skating with them.  Later in 2010, she returned to spend more time with our students and together they went cycling.

"She sat and talked with them, and even wrote a letter directly to one of our students.  She became a part of their lives, and they are so grateful.  THIS is why she deserves this honour."
- Jaydeen Williams, Vancouver

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