Monday October 26, 2015

Clara Hughes on her memoir, Olympic success and struggles with her mental health

Canadian athlete Clara Hughes waves to fans during the Olympic Heroes Parade

Canadian athlete Clara Hughes waves to fans during the Olympic Heroes Parade (John Rieti/CBC)

Listen 20:07

This interview was originally broadcast on October 26, 2015.

Clara Hughes talks about her memoir, Open Heart Open Mind.

What do you think happened to a girl from Winnipeg who started drinking in grade three and smoking a pack a day by the time she was in grade seven?

At eighteen, she became a competitive cyclist and won two bronze Olympic medals. After cycling for ten years, she then went on to become an Olympic speed skater. She won four more medals. 

The year she retired from competitive sport, she agreed to be the national spokesperson for a multi-million dollar mental health awareness campaign. That's when she shared her struggle with debilitating depression with the entire country.

Those are the broad strokes of Clara Hughes' life.There are many more details of course, and Clara writes about all of them in her new memoir.