Clara Hughes of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame last night in Calgary, Alberta. She is the sixth cyclist honoured in this fashion, joining Steve Bauer (2005), Curt Harnett (2005), Jocelyn Lovell (1985), Sylvia Burka (1977) and William 'Torchy' Peden (1955).
Hughes, who received the Order of Canada on April 7, 2010, began her stellar cycling career in 1990, and competed in both road and track cycling sports at major international events such as Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games.
"We would like to send our warmest congratulations to Clara. To this day, she continues to inspire kids across Canada to pursue an active lifestyle that includes competitive sports. Throughout her life, she has always been an ideal ambassador for cycling, embodying the noble values and the spirit of sport," said Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer and secretary general of the Canadian Cycling Association.
Dual sport star
In 2002, Hughes became the first Canadian to win Olympic medals in both Summer and Winter Games with her performance in speed skating at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
She participated in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, winning two bronze medals at the 1996 Games in Atlanta in the road race and the individual time trial.
An 18-time Canadian national cycling champion, Hughes won the silver medal in the time trial at the 1995 UCI World Road Championships, held in Duitama, Colombia.
She also participated in the 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003 Pan American Games and won a total of eight Pan American Games medals. In Commonwealth Games competition, Hughes won the gold medal in the time trial and bronze medal in the points race in 2002, as well as a silver medal in the team time trial in 1994.
She served as a commentator for the cycling events for the CBC's coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Hughes holds honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba, the University of New Brunswick and the University of British Columbia.