Six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, who has inspired Canadians both as a cyclist and speed skater, and is now dedicated to breaking down the stigma around mental illness, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University on Wednesday, October 10th. She will address graduates at the 3:30 pm Convocation at the Tennis Canada Rexall Centre on York’s Keele Campus.
One of the biggest stories in Canadian sports, Hughes is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games. She was given the great honour of being the Canadian Flag Bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, proudly leading the team to an historic medal winning performance.
While she has pursued her dreams through the world of sports, Hughes’ ultimate goal has been to motivate youth and inspire hope in others through her actions. After winning gold in 2006, she donated $10,000 to Right to Play, raising more than half a million dollars for the international humanitarian organization that promotes sport for development. In 2010, she donated her $10,000 medal bonus to the Vancouver inner city school program Take a Hike, which uses adventure-based learning to give youth at risk a better direction in life.
As National Spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Mental Health initiative and the Let’s Talk campaign, Hughes has shared her past struggles with depression, helping to break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Manitoba, and has been awarded the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious Sport and the Community award for her commitment to promoting the values of sport and play around the world. She also has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Convocation ceremonies will take place at the Convocation Pavilion located at the Rexall Centre, 1 Shoreham Drive, at York University’s Keele campus.
Ceremonies will be webcast at the following link, which will become live when ceremonies begin: www.yorku.ca/mygrad/livewebcast.