Cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes has put together a remarkable athletic career, but the next challenge she takes on could be her greatest yet.
Hughes, who has won six Olympic medals and is the only athlete ever to win multiple medals in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, will depart from Toronto on Friday and begin what will be a 110-day, 7,000-mile tour across Canada. She wants to use the journey as a way to both raise awareness about mental health issues and end social stigmas about mental illness.
Speaking with the National Post, Hughes said she doesn’t expect the trip to be easy:
“What we’re going to go through on the bike, that’s where things are going to go wrong. We’re going to suffer. We’re going to be cold; we’re going to be wet; we’re going to be tired. And that’s what’s going to give the grit to this whole ride.”
Hughes also spoke more about the purpose of the journey:
“I’m not doing this ride to paint this happy picture everywhere, either. This is to give the message to our government and to our society in general that [mental illness] is real, and it affects everyone in a different way. So let’s stop pretending that it doesn’t exist.”
You can learn more about the campaign at Clara’s Big Ride.
[Source: National Post]