Hundreds of people gathered at the Sydenham Hill lookout in Dundas on Saturday for the unveiling of a plaque celebrating Olympian Clara Hughes.
The 40-year-old retired athlete, the only Canadian ever to win multiple Olympic medals in both summer and winter sports, lived in the Hamilton area for seven years in the 1990s and was on hand on Saturday to accept the honour.
"Anybody can win a gold medal, but what are you going to do what that success?" Hughes, who continues to campaign to raise awareness about mental illness, told the crowd.
"You can be more than great and good and the best in the world. You can change your world, and that's what I encourage you to do."
At the dedication, part of Sydenham Hill, which Hughes rode up regularly as part of her training as a cyclist, was renamed "Clara's Climb," a nod to her time in the Hamilton area.
Local dignitaries, including MPP Ted McMeekin, Hamilton mayor Bob Bratina and Dundas councillor Russ Powers, were in attendance, as was Canadian cyclist Curt Harnett, who won three Olympic medals during his competive career.
The ceremony came a day after Hughes gave a speech in front of over 1,000 people at Hamilton's Mohawk College.
During the talk, she spoke about her transition from troubled youth to competitive athlete, her Olympic successes and failures, and her fight to shed light onto mental health issues.
"If there's anything I hope my stories can leave you with are the possibilities," she said, imploring audience members to get involved in their communities. "You don't need to be on the world stage to make a difference."