Backpacker Radio 102 | Clara Hughes, Olympian and Thru-Hiker
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek brought to you by OnX Backcountry, we are joined by Clara “Redfeather” Hughes. Clara, in no uncertain terms, is a bonafide superstar. In addition to a multitude of thru-hikes under her belt, Clara is a world-class speed skater and cyclist, being the only athlete in history to win multiple medals at both the summer and winter Olympic Games. Let that sink in for a second. We go deep on all the things you’d want to ask an Olympic superstar, including what her training regimen looks like, what it feels like to win a gold medal, and how much of a drunken orgy the Olympic village really is. We also learn how her backpacking endeavors played a role in her Olympic career and why she attributes a portion of her success to her trekking.
We do a triple crown of Olympic sports (fittingly enough), how a professional tennis player stole our idea to sell our body parts in a non-prostitution sorta way (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and a contentious patent pending.
Download this episode.
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Interview with Clara Hughes
00:04:55 – QOTD: What is your favorite pizza?
00:08:36 – Welcome Clara Hughes!
00:14:51 – What is this Baja hike?
00:17:44 – How did you get into your Olympic career?
00:25:22 – So you first got into sport when you were 16 or 17, how old were you for your first Olympic games?
00:25:44 – When you were younger did you know you were gifted as an athlete?
00:25:55 – How did you go from not really doing sport to being an olympic athlete? What happened in the middle?
00:29:03 – So the Olympic medals came after the JMT revelation?
00:31:10 – What is the community of the Olympics in Canada? How does it even work getting into the Olympics? What does the system look like in the months outside of the Olympic games?
00:33:18 – How did the structure of the Olympic community help with your mental health struggles?
00:40:40 – Is there a part of you that does want to turn hiking into sport and try an FKT?
00:44:28 – Do you relay your story about mental health on trail?
00:48:55 – When are they going to make a movie about your life? Has anyone approached you about one? If not, why are they f*cking up?
00:52:41 – Why do you think thru-hiking is a bigger deal in the U.S.?
00:55:31 – Can you give a little background on the Great Divide Trail?
00:57:48 – How much crossover is there between speed skating and cycling?
01:00:18 – When did you realize you wanted to do Olympic cycling?
01:02:18 – Can you put in headphones in the Olympics? If not, what’s in your head?
01:05:03 – Has anyone tried to rig the spring part of the skate to make it super powerful?
01:06:28 – Where are the wipeouts more intense? Cycling or speedskating?
01:08:57 – Would you rather have a slicey bloody injury or an internal bone breaking injury?
01:10:47 – Are there photos of your sunglasses injury?
01:12:41 – What does it feel like to win a gold medal?
01:16:19 – Can you speak to the states of flow you get into competitively vs. training?
01:20:23 – Is Olympic Village as crazy as all the stories?
01:23:13 – Do you have any wild Olympic Village stories?
01:25:18 – Is the last day of the Olympics the biggest party day?
01:26:50 – Do you wear your medals all the time?
01:29:31 – Where should people go to keep up with you?
Triple Crown of Olympic Sports
News from Off the Trail
Patent Pending (Hangry App)
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