Gold medal snowboarder entering politics

Oct. 23, 2009 at 9:41 PM
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KELOWNA, British Columbia, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Canadian gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebagliati said Friday he is running for Parliament as a Liberal.

Rebagliati, 38, will seek the Liberal nomination Monday for the Okanagan-Coquihalla seat now held by Conservative Stockwell Day Jr., 59, who is Canada's international trade minister, Canwest News Service reported.

There are no other announced candidates for the Liberal nomination.

"It was going to be an election without an option, basically," Rebagliati said. "I felt like there needed to be a choice for the constituents."

Party officials approached him about entering the political arena, he said.

Rebagliati won his Olympic gold medal in 1998. He was stripped of the medal after tests revealed he had high levels of THC, which is found in marijuana, but regained it on appeal, maintaining the drug came from second-hand pot smoke.

Rebagliati, who is married and has one child, says jobs, healthcare, child care, sports, native issues, homelessness and the environment are issues that will be part of his campaign.

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