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Clara Hughes reaches end of ride to raise Mental Health awareness on Canada Day

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
July 2nd, 2014

Five-plus weeks after riding along Baker Street in Nelson on Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk — a 12,000 kilometer odyssey across Canada to help end the stigma around mental health and illness — Clara Hughes reached her goal, biking onto stage at on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Tuesday on Canada Day.

During the Nelson stop Hughes was emotional when seeing the many supporters waiting in front of the stage.

She was greeted with a similar roaring applause for her perseverance Tuesday in Ottawa.

“It is a thrill and it is a relief because this is an enormous country when you pedal it by bicycle,” Hughes said, adding that many of the one in five Canadians who are affected by mental illness struggle in silence.

“We have seen them, we have heard them, we have given them the stage and the platform to share, and that has been the fuel that has inspired and ignited every single kilometre of the way.”

In Nelson, the message to the more than 100 people who showed was the same.

“This is all about awareness for Mental Health,” Hughes said, challenging the people in Nelson and everyone in Canada.

 “We are not done, we have so far to go, but the dream of a stigma-free Canada, when it comes to mental illness and people struggling, is alive and it’s achievable, we can do it together,” she said.

The 41-year-old Hughes competed in six Olympic games, won two bronze medals in the 1996 Summer Olympics in cycling and collected four medals—including one gold — over the course of three Winter Olympic Games.

Categories: GeneralHealth

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