Canadian Cyclist


August 26/03 12:01 pm - Clara Hughes Interview

Posted by Editor on 08/26/03

Clara Hughes Interview

We just finished having a quick chat with Clara Hughes, back from the Pan Am Games, where she won a complete set of medals - Gold (Points Race), Silver (Time Trial), Bronze (Pursuit) - on the track and the road.

"It was my fourth Pan Ams, but I still had experiences that I will remember all my life. The people were so wonderful and warm, and I had a great time."

Despite her enjoyable experiences, Clara admits that she is contemplating a retirement from cycling. "I'm still undecided, but yes, it is something that I am looking at. I had a rough summer - not just my injury (back), but figuring out what I want to do. It is very tough, but I started to realize that the thought of not skating this winter was hard."

It is a tough decision, because retiring from cycling will mean missing the Athens Olympics, a goal Clara has had for few years, and the Hamilton Road Worlds.

"I would definitely regret missing Athens, that's the thing, and to be the Worlds in Hamilton, where I had my home, would also be special. I've had so many experiences in cycling, but in some ways I have nothing left to prove (to myself). I have achieved more than I could have dreamed of, I've raced a lot longer than I thought I would. I know I can still be better (in cycling), but I just don't know if I love it enough any more.

People think that if you are good at something, then you should do it. I won the Points Race at Pan Ams and bronze at Commonwealths, so people say, 'Oh, you're really good at the Points Race'. But the thing is, I dread that event, it's not my personality, not my style.

What I have to do now is figure where my passion is, and follow my heart; I've proven that if I have the passion for something then I can succeed. I haven't been listening to my heart in the last little while.

I was at the Quebec Provincial Road Championships, and I was in the break with a couple of the junior women, and they were so excited, so passionate about racing. I remember being like that, but not now, so maybe it is time to move on."

Clara says that she will make a decision within the next week on her career plans.


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