Struggle Has Value
Hughes is one of the few athletes who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. Hughes is one of only six people to have podium finishes in the Winter and Summer versions of the Games and is the only person ever to have won multiple medals in both. Hughes was the first Canadian woman to win a medal in road cycling at the Olympics, winning two in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Hughes was born in Winnipeg, and is a graduate of Elmwood High School. In an interview on CBC Radio show Definitely Not the Opera,Hughes reveals that as a youth, she smoked cigarettes, drank a lot at a young age and did a lot of drugs, admitting she did not envision herself as an athlete. She was inspired to begin skating after witnessing Gaétan Boucher at the 1988 Winter Olympics. She started with speed skating, but in 1990 she moved to competitive cycling, competing in track cycling and road cycling.