| Date of Birth:
September 27, 1972
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, MB
Residence: Calgary, AB
Years on National Team:
Weight: 159 lbs.
As one of only four people to ever medal at both a summer and a winter Olympics, long track speed skater Clara Hughes is clearly a special athlete. She nailed the first part of her rare combination at the 1996 Atlanta Games with two bronze medals (cycling time trial, road race) and four years ago, she won another bronze in the exhausting 5000m long track speed skating event at Salt Lake City Games.
Although Hughes spent most of her early sporting career on the bike, it should be noted that it was after watching legendary Canadian speed skater Gaétan Boucher strut his stuff at the 1988 Calgary Olympics that Hughes first began competitive skating. Although she would switch to cycling a year later, speed skating would remain in her heart.
In 2000, with a room full of cycling medals to her credit, Hughes needed a new challenge. That's when she decided to once again try her hand at long track. With the new goal in mind, she trained hard for seven weeks and amazingly immediately made the national team. Within two years she was an Olympic medallist (2002) and by 2004 she was named Canada's Long Track Female Skater of the Year.
Hughes has managed to keep her competitive fire stoked and goes to Italy on a roll having already won a gold and two silver medals early in the 2005-06 World Cup season. In Turin, she'll be a podium threat in the 3000m, 5000m and Team Pursuit.
February 26: Clara, Cindy sing from the heart
February 26: Race of her life floors Hughes
February 26: 'Peggers share spotlight after 5,000
February 26: 'Magic leaf' spurs skaters
February 26: Olympic victory thrills 'Peggers
February 26: Speed skating medal haul amazes
February 26: A legacy that lasts
February 26: Drama great to see
February 26: Great skates icing on cake
February 25: Hughes wins gold
February 25: Clara's time to shine
February 17: Winnipeggers share medal, spirit
February 13: Strong finish excites Hughes
February 11: Hughes inspired by the Oly experience
February 9: SUN Prediction: silver in 5000, gold in team pursuit
February 8: Another hill to climb
February 8: She had no fear, even in boys' hockey
February 8: Diamond in rough in early days
2006 Longtrackskating Coverage