Canadian Olympic legend, Clara Hughes, to return to cycling
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Canadian Olympic legend, Clara Hughes, to return to cycling

by Jered Gruber at 12:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Winner of six medals at the Winter and Summer Olympics hopes to add to her tally in London in 2012

The 38 year old multisport champion Clara Hughes plans to return to competition in 2011 in hopes of adding to her prodigious Olympic medal sum at the 2012 London Olympics.

The Winnipeg, Canada native has six Olympic medals to her credit: bronze in both the road race and time trial at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and four medals (one gold, one silver, and two bronze), over the course of three Winter Olympics in speed skating.

Like another North American woman looking to return to rarefied heights of athletic performance, Kristin Armstrong, Hughes wants to try to do it better than before.

"It's a very exciting things, because I get to try to do this better and try to do this in a unique way, in my own way, and to put 20 years of experience into this," said Hughes in a telephone interview with Randy Starkman of the Star. "But to still go into it, feeling I can learn and grow and improve. I am nowhere near my limit. I just want to see if there are such things as limits. I want to go and find out."

Hughes recently took a medal on the ice at the Vancouver Olympics, so she is nowhere near out of shape, but she hasn't raced as a competitive cyclist in quite some time. Nevertheless, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch for the rider who won't call her return a comeback.

"I don't see it as a comeback, first of all. It's me continuing the path I've been on. I'm not finished yet."

The excellent time trialist and fast finisher should find a great opportunity for more glory on the road in London in 2012, but the track also seems a distinct possibility for her.

Hughes would be a huge addition to the Canadian women's team pursuit team anchored by double world champion, Tara Whitten.

For Hughes, retirement will come when she feels it's time. She admits that the feeling finally came to her on the ice at the recently completed Olympics, but it still hasn't come on the bike.

"I've always gone by my gut, and I knew when I skated my last stride across that line and looked up at the clock and had the satisfaction of finishing the race of my life the way I always dreamed of skating in Vancouver, I knew that was it, that I would never skate another stride in competition. And I dream of having that race on the bike when I roll across the line, and I look at the clock, and I think back to what the race was and I think, 'That's it. That was it. I'm done."


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