Meeting Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes

Today was not only the first beautiful day we have had this spring but it is also the day that Sydenham Hill in Dundas, Ontario became Clara’s Climb. We honoured Clara Hughes for all her many successes in sport and life with a plaque on the hill she trained on from 1991-1998 during part of her cycling career.

Clara is one of my heroes because she represents everything I believe in. Hard work, perseverance, believing in your dream and inspiring people to do their best. She always has a big infectious smile on her face and when she talks about pursuing your dreams, anything seems possible. I think that is what makes her so Canadian. Our stars that rise to Clara’s, Simon Whitfield’s, Ryder Hesjedal’s level are humble, sincere and see themselves as a bigger picture that is our national story. A story that will inspire the next generation to even greater heights. Clara said today that it’s not about the medals and the instant fame that comes with it but what you do with it.

I was so proud to meet her in person with my daughter and to have her sign my aero helmet. I will be racing on the same course she time trialed during the 2012 London Olympics this September. She said I’m going to love the course. “It’s a lot of fun but harder than it looks.” Remembering she road that race with a broken back! On September 13th I will be riding with Clara on my shoulder.

My autographed helmet