Champion for Health

How Clara Hughes fought depression to win Olympic gold

by Richard Brignall

The Olympic champion who battled to bring depression to light

Clara Hughes has won multiple medals in both summer and winter Olympic Games. As a cyclist and speed skater, Clara pushed through pain to get to the finish line, trying to have her best race every day. Few knew that the same determination and focus were also needed to fight her own personal battles. Abusing drugs and alcohol from her early teens, Clara used sport to turn her life around in a few short months. But after becoming one of the world's top athletes, her world came apart as her depression threatened to rob her of her Olympic dreams.

Clara's inspiring story does not end with winning gold. Using her fame as a platform, she has devoted time and resources to helping children gain access to sports in the world's most troubled regions. And she has become a symbol of the fight to remove the stigma from mental illness by cycling thousands of kilometres in all kinds of weather to raise awareness. Clara is a remarkable athlete, but it is her strength and courage off the track that have made her a true champion.

About the Author

Richard Brignall

RICHARD BRIGNALL has written many non-fiction books for young readers and adults, and contributed hundreds of articles to magazines across Canada, including Cottage Life and Outdoor Canada. His books have been shortlisted for the Carol Shields Award, the Red Cedar Award, and the Golden Oak Award. He lives in Kenora, Ontario.


The List: Great Reads for Youth - Toronto Public Library

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