Clara Hughes, the only Canadian ever to win Olympic medals in both summer and winter sports, spoke in Hamilton on Friday, sharing her story with over 1,000 people at Mohawk College’s McIntyre Theatre.

The Winnipeg-born athlete talked about her transition from troubled youth to competitive athlete, her Olympic successes and failures, and her fight to raise awareness about mental health. 

"If there’s anything I hope my stories can leave you with are the possibilities," she said, imploring audience members to get involved. "You don’t need to be on the world stage to make a difference."

On Saturday, Hughes, 40, will be in Dundas for the unveiling of a plaque at Sydenham Hill in her honour. The stretch was part of her training route during the seven years she lived in the area.

Related: Take a video cycling tour up the hill that trained Olympian Clara Hughes

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. at the Sydenham Hill lookout.

Here are a few excerpts from her speech on Friday:

— On being back in Hamilton

— On carrying the flag for Canada at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics

— On her feelings after completing her final Olympic race