A tragic reminder for Clara Hughes
Canadian cyclist/speed skater Clara Hughes reflected on the death of Andrei Kivilev, recalling her own sentiments after the loss of Nicole Reinhart's in 2000. Hughes knows the roads of southern France well, having raced in the Tour de l'Aude. Currently preparing for the world speed skating championships, Hughes shared her thoughts in an article in Speed Skating Canada.
"As I watched [Wednesday's] stage of Paris-Nice, the neutralised procession of racers going the distance in unified sorrow, the teammates of the Cofidis rider riding just ahead of the peloton looking numb, I began to think of what Nicole's death has meant to me," Hughes said, "someone lucky enough to come out of some pretty horrific crashes bruised and battered, a girl fortunate enough to have had the opportunities of living her dreams."
Hughes reflected on her experience in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, with an understanding of the scope of sporting achievements and how athletes come to see the bigger picture. "Sport is something that parallels the human struggle - the will to succeed, the agony of defeat, the hero path," she wrote. "I think humanity needs heroes for us to continue, and sport is something that has the potential to display excellence as a human being, not just glory and winning."
"Sport has taught me to live," Hughes added. "I mean really live each day to its fullest, to thrive in something that I love to do, to have a dream and have the courage to follow it. It has taught me to break down the barriers of limits, from within and others as well. It has shown me that if you truly believe, and do all within your power to work and prepare for what you want to do, that anything is possible. Anything."