Olympic gold medalist Ross Rebagliati doesn't think his snowboard can compete with Stockwell Day's Jet Ski in the next federal election.
"For personal and family reasons, it is with regret that I must step down as the Liberal candidate in Okanagan-Coquihalla," Mr. Rebagliati said in a news release Friday. "I remain steadfast in my support for the Liberal Party of Canada and our Leader Michael Ignatieff, but the time has come for me to focus on new life challenges."
Mr. Rebagliati is as famous for testing positive for marijuana, having his gold taken away and then later reinstated, as he is for winning the first-ever gold medal for snowboarding in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
He announced in October, 2009, that he was seeking the Liberal nod in the B.C. Interior riding. He faced stiff competition, however, since the seat has been held since 2000 by Mr. Day - the Treasury Board President who once conducted a news conference in a wetsuit having arrived by personal water craft.
"I am sorry to lose Ross as a candidate, but I am thankful to have him as a friend," Mr. Ignatieff said in the Liberal news release. "Political life can be very demanding, especially when you have a young family. I will fondly remember the time we spent together this summer in the Okanagan on the Liberal Express and all the visits to British Columbia where Ross's support and dedication were always appreciated."
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