Open Heart, Open Mind

Paperback | January 3, 2017

byClara Hughes

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The long-awaited memoir by Canada’s most celebrated Olympian and advocate for mental health.

From one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians comes a raw but life-affirming story of one woman’s struggle with depression.

In 2006, when Clara Hughes stepped onto the Olympic podium in Torino, Italy, she became the first and only athlete ever to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games. Four years later, she was proud to carry the Canadian flag at the head of the Canadian team as they participated in the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. But there’s another story behind her celebrated career as an athlete, behind her signature billboard smile.

While most professional athletes devote their entire lives to training, Clara spent her teenage years using drugs and drinking to escape the stifling home life her alcoholic father had created in Elmwood, Winnipeg. She was headed nowhere fast when, at sixteen, she watched transfixed in her living room as gold medal speed skater Gaétan Boucher effortlessly raced in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Dreaming of one day competing herself, Clara channeled her anger, frustration, and raw ambition into the endurance sports of speed skating and cycling. By 2010, she had become a six-time Olympic medalist.

But after more than a decade in the gruelling world of professional sports that stripped away her confidence and bruised her body, Clara began to realize that her physical extremes, her emotional setbacks, and her partying habits were masking a severe depression. After winning bronze in the last speed skating race of her career, she decided to retire from that sport, determined to repair herself. She has emerged as one of our most committed humanitarians, advocating for a variety of social causes both in Canada and around the world. In 2010, she became national spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk campaign in support of mental health awareness, using her Olympic standing to share the positive message of the power of forgiveness.

Told with honesty and passion, Open Heart, Open Mind is Clara’s personal journey through physical and mental pain to a life where love and understanding can thrive. This revelatory and inspiring story will touch the hearts of all Canadians.

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From the Publisher

The long-awaited memoir by Canada’s most celebrated Olympian and advocate for mental health.From one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians comes a raw but life-affirming story of one woman’s struggle with depression. In 2006, when Clara Hughes stepped onto the Olympic podium in Torino, Italy, she became the first and only athlete ever t...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:January 3, 2017Publisher:TouchstoneLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476756996

ISBN - 13:9781476756998

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Customer Reviews of Open Heart, Open Mind

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from a wonderful read I picked up this book, surprisingly by my father's recommendation. I had no expectations starting out but was very delighted while reading it. She mentions her own experiences which makes it not only very interesting to learn but also very enjoyable. I loved reading it. Very inspiring!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An inspiring read One of the best documentaries I have read about an athlete. This book will inspire athletes all around the world and anyone who is dealing with a mental illness. Clara will forever be an idol of mine and because of athletes like her, I'm proud to call myself Canadian. Excellent job Clara Hughes!
Date published: 2015-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Openmind open heart An example of the pressures of family any high level sport. So important in understanding the mind of a fierce competitor.
Date published: 2015-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Open heart Open mind I really enjoyed the book. I am glad to know someone who I can relate to with some of the experiences I have encountered with my illness
Date published: 2015-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is a gem! I was truly sad this book was finished. Needs to be required reading in schools. Excellent, vivid imagery and not afraid to give big punches!
Date published: 2015-09-10

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Editorial Reviews

“... a fine, honest book, a revealing look inside the life of a world-class athlete who also happened to have the intelligence and sensibility to regard herself while this was happening. It’s like having an unusually perceptive journalist with unparalleled access to the mind of an athlete."