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Open Heart, Open Mind
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Open Heart, Open Mind > Canada's Olympian

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message 1: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Hello Book Club Members!

I’m very excited to discuss October’s Book Club title: Open Heart, Open Mind by Clara Hughes.

Clara Hughes is arguably one of the best known Canadian Olympians. She has competed in both the Summer (cycling) and Winter (speed skating) Games. She is also an advocate for mental health and is very vocal about her struggles with depression.

What are your initial thoughts on the book? What comes to mind when you think of Clara Hughes?

The library has print and e-book copies of the book. Titles can be found on our library’s catalogue:

Along with commenting on discussion questions that I post, please feel free to create and post your own thoughts and questions.



message 2: by Marcella (new)

Marcella | 8 comments When I think of Clara Hughes, the first word that comes to mind is admiration. It's such an incredible process to work towards competing in one set of Olympic games, but to train for both the winter and the summer is something I couldn't even imagine doing myself!

But my admiration isn't limited to her physical abilities in sports - it's that she is genuinely dedicated to getting the word out about mental health issues. She also doesn't set herself up as some sort of super star sports figure - from what I've heard and read about her, she's very friendly and easy to talk to.

message 3: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Thank you for your comment, Marcella!

My immediate image when I think of Clara Hughes is her big smile.

You made some great points and I completely agree. It's almost unbelievable that she can be at the top of two sports (cycling and speed skating). She is an amazing athlete, yet she doesn't have the ego to match. She seems very down to earth.

I agree, her advocacy for mental health issues is inspiring. I'm looking forward to learning more and more about her childhood, her history with depression, and the behind-the-scenes aspects of her athletic endeavours.


message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Anne | 15 comments My initial thought of the book is that we often don't see what the person being portrayed in the media and hype is anything but amazing. We expect these people to be super human with strengths and stamina above and beyond the regular person.
In this book Clara allows people into what her personal and family life was during this time in her life.
This to me took more courage than competing and training as an athlete for Canada.

message 5: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Thanks for your comment Jo!

Yes, I agree with you that we hold athletes and other public figures up to an unrealistic level. They are able to perform such impressive athletic feats that we assume they must be super-human!

Well said! Opening up and discussing her issues and her family's issues definitely takes a lot of courage. I already see Clara as such a warm and welcoming person and this book has only increased this feeling.

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