TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced
today that five-time Olympic medallist Clara Hughes has been awarded the 2006
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport and the Community Trophy. The
award is designed to recognize an individual's outstanding contribution and
commitment to promoting and assisting the development of sport at both the
national and international level.
Hughes will officially be presented with the IOC Trophy as part of the
2007 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony on
April 21 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.
"I'm deeply honored to be recognized by the IOC with this award," said
Hughes. "I've always felt that the potential of sport is to transcend
competition and contribute to the human condition in a positive way. That I've
had the chance to help the many children who are born into dire life
situations that are beyond comprehension, is a gift I am grateful for. It
shines far brighter than the gold medal I won in Turin. I hope this can
inspire other athletes to make a difference in this vast world that we are all
a part of."
"I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this award than Clara
Hughes," said Michael Chambers, COC President. "Throughout her Olympic Summer
and Winter Games career, Clara has always represented Canada both on and off
the field of play with such grace, class and character. Through her athletic
success and her exemplary, warm and caring humanitarian efforts, Clara truly
embodies the spirit of the Olympic Movement. She is, and will forever remain,
one of Canada's greatest Olympians."
Hughes, the only athlete to win multiple medals at both the Olympic
Summer and Winter Games, is a four-time Olympian who has become an inspiration
and a role model to Canadians through her athletic excellence, determination,
perseverance and generosity.
Hughes' Olympic career began in 1996 after she won a pair of bronze
medals in cycling's individual road race and time trial disciplines in
Atlanta. Following the 2000 Olympic Games, Hughes retired from international
cycling to pursue a career in long track speed skating. Less than two years
later, Hughes captured her third Olympic medal after placing third in the
5,000-metre discipline at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Last year at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Hughes captured the fourth
and fifth Olympic medals of her career after helping Canada to a silver medal
in the women's pursuit discipline and winning gold in the 5,000 metre race on
the last day of the Games. Following her gold medal victory in Turin, Hughes
immediately pledged $10,000 to the athlete-driven humanitarian organization
Right To Play.
In the 13 months since the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Hughes' awareness
and fundraising efforts have helped raise more than $430,000 to assist in the
development of children and youth through sport in the most disadvantaged
areas of the world.
A Right To Play Ambassador since December 2003, Hughes regularly
participates in school visits, fundraising galas, press conferences and other
awareness events as part of her volunteer efforts. In April 2006, she became
Co-Chair of Right To Play's Canadian Advisory Board.
Tickets for the 2007 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner &
Induction Ceremony are now on sale and can be purchased online by visiting
www.olympic.ca. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Canadian Olympic
Foundation which provides direct support to athletes, coaches, National Sport
Federations and the Own The Podium 2010 and Road To Excellence initiatives.
The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit
organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects
of Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada's
participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information, see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Eric Michalko, Manager, Media
Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee, Office: (416) 324-4146, Cell: (416)
528-6742, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org