Beginning when Bell Let’s Talk Day launched in September 2010, Clara figured prominently in the eyes of Canadians as the national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign designed to end the stigma attached to mental illness. In 2014, undertaking “Clara’s Big Ride,” she completed a 110-day national bicycle tour through every province and territory in Canada. As part of the ride, she covered more than 11,000 kilometres, visited 105 communities and did over 235 events raising awareness for mental health. She is also the author of the bestselling, acclaimed memoir, Open Heart, Open Mind.
Clara is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both summer and winter Olympic Games. A six-time Olympian, Hughes has won six Olympic medals representing Canada in both speed skating and cycling. In addition, she served as the flag-bearer for Team Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games opening ceremony.
Over the course of her distinguished career, Clara has won countless awards and accolades. She received the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Community Trophy; she was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame; she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; and she is a member of the Order of Manitoba and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Clara is an Honourary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is part of a national, comprehensive response to the Indian Residential School legacy.