|Olympian Clara Hughes|
Let me tell you a little about Clara. In 1996 Clara won two medals in cycling at the Atlanta Summer Olympic games. She went on to win medals in long track speed skating at three winter Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Clara is the only Canadian and fourth ever athlete in history to win medals at both the summer and winter Olympic games. And she is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in winter and summer Olympics.Clara is not only a remarkable athlete, she’s a remarkable person. In honor of her $10,000.00 personal donation to ‘Right to Play’ after winning gold in Torino four years earlier, Clara made a donation to the local Vancouver charity ‘Take a Hike’ with her $10,000.00 bronze medal bonus in 2010.
When asked by CBC Sports why she wanted to compete again and if she felt she had something to prove to herself or others, Clara answered this way:“No, I've never had anything to prove, and I've never tried to break any records or win more medals than anyone, or medal here or medal there (laughs). That's stuff that's just been a result of putting everything I have into what I love to do, and this is a continuation of how I've always gone about sport … the ultimate pursuit of personal excellence, of bringing my best self to the line and, hopefully, setting an example for kids and people that anything is possible.
When you give everything, magic can happen…And that's what I always tried to show people that were watching, particularly young people, that it's the effort that matters. It's what you bring of yourself that matters, and that's why I'm doing this and what I want to bring of myself if I'm good enough to make this team.”
I’m truly awed by Clara. She’s a great athlete and a great human being. What I find so totally inspiring about her is that she puts everything she has into everything she does. She is always going for her personal best.