Clara Hughes is an Olympic athlete to be admired.  Plagued with depression demons for years, she is still the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both summer and winter Olympic Games.   
She competes and wins both in cycling and speed skating.  
 
This year, I was delighted to see her as part of the CBC crew commentating for a solid portion of coverage. It was so encouraging to hear her open candour about the challenge of mental illness, and the struggles the competing athletes would have been going through as they advanced, or fell, or won. Beside her, Adam Van Koeverden also shared the struggles of his competitive life. If the best athletes in the world deal with depression, who are we to assume we are weak because we get depressed?  
 
Some people are afraid to admit to their inner battle, and feel they are lesser because of it.  To admit you've gone for counselling takes true courage in a world such as ours. 
 
Why?
 
Clara Hughes has taken "it's okay" to a whole new level. Today she started cycling across Canada (and not straight across either!) to raise awareness and conversation about mental illness. Rather than hide it, let's bring it out to the light and see it for what it is - an all too common struggle which people have hidden.  Let's break the silence and recognize that nobody is perfect, and that we need each other in our own personal ways. 
 
Thank you Clara, for taking your "weakness" to help strengthen others. 
 
You our can follow this inspiring woman at http://clarasbigride.bell.ca/en/
 
Ride on!
Julie
 

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