Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Clara Hughes' memories in motion

Player's Own Voice podcast meets with Clara Hughes, reminiscing on a stellar career and examining how heroic walking journeys are part adventure/part therapy.

Multi-sport star and advocate reminisces on stellar career, looks ahead with optimism

Clara Hughes poses at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2015. (Marta Iwanek/The Canadian Press)

Clara Hughes is one of those rare athletes who finished an exceptional athletic career and went on to even more widespread fame.

The former speed skater and cyclist achieved overwhelming success with her work in support of mental illness in the 'Let's Talk' initiative.

The advocacy and outreach work proved so involving that Hughes needed to step away again to recharge, and that led to an ongoing series of epic hikes. Clara Hughes has walked the famous east and west coast mountain trails for thousands of kilometres, usually solo, always finding reflection and meditation in the process.

For her old speed skating teammate Anastasia Bucsis, Clara's reflective state opens the gate to lingering memories from a stellar career. Reflection also allows her to think through the ways that today's vocal athletes, like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles, are ushering in social change.

If that all sounds a bit nutritious, Clara Hughes has not lost her knack for blunt assessment of any situation, including delight at her own 43rd-place finish in a mid-career race not long ago.

For our hard of hearing and deaf audience members, we are pleased to provide a transcription.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, the POV podcast allows athletes to speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.

To listen to the entire fourth season, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever else you do your podcast listening.

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