Olympian Clara Hughes stopped by Paul Kane High School last month to talk to students about her Olympic career and to advocate mental health awareness. Hughes was at one time a teenager herself who used a lot of alcohol and tobacco to help her cope with everyday life until she witnessed the 1988 Winter Olympics which inspired her to change paths. The athlete spent a good amount of time interacting with the students and sharing her own story so that they know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that there is always a way to make everything better. Hughes also told them that they have just as good of a chance as anyone to accomplish anything they want to do, and that really motivated them and left a lasting impression.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had a rough start to her high school years, but began to speed skate at the age of 16 and cycling at the age of 18. She has participated in multiple world tournaments and has won a few medals, including two Olympic medals overall, one in each sport. Hughes is currently one of only a handful of people to get medals in both the summer and winter Olympic games, and was even inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. She is also the national spokeswoman for the Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health initiative and has also authored a memoir titled “Open Heart, Open Mind” that was published in 2015.
Hughes went to Paul Kane High School in mid-October of this year to talk to a bunch of students about mental health awareness and also share her stories of success from the Olympics. Everyone agreed that she is a very approachable and friendly person as well as athlete and has an incredibly motivating story.
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