As Justin Trudeau’s Liberals claimed the most seats in the House of Commons in the Oct. 21 federal election, they are also bringing a new star with them: Four-time Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden, who was elected a Liberal MP in the Toronto area riding of Milton!
The kayaker, who won gold and bronze in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, and later went on to capture two more silvers in Beijing and London in 2008 and 2012, defeated Lisa Raitt, the deputy leader of the Conservative Party, to take the riding. He brought in 48 per cent of the vote, according to CBC News. Adam already knows a good deal about representing Canada and making his fellow Canadians proud – in addition to the medals he’s won, he was also Canada’s flag bearer at the 2004 Summer Games.
“I’m just satisfied with the amount of work we’ve done,” he told the press at a victory celebration at an Irish bar on election night. “We hit the ground. We talked to our neighbours. We asked them what they wanted. And they delivered.”
Adam also showed off why he’s considered one of the country’s most revered athletes, sending a special message to Lisa as he celebrated his win.
“I have big shoes to fill,” he sweetly told reporters, according to CBC News. “Lisa is a good MP and we’ve had a couple of really good conversations over the last couple of months. I have the utmost respect for Ms. Raitt and her work. I hope that we can sit down for lunch and talk about Milton.”
Adam celebrated his big win with a very touching tweet on Oct. 21, in which he wrote about what kayaking taught him about being confident and how it helped him during the election.
Sitting on the start line of a race I’d always take a confident breath & think about all the kms, hard-strokes & chin-ups that got me there. This time I’m confident bc of my team & my volunteers. We’ve done the work. Thanks to my neighbours for an amazing campaign. #Milton
— Adam van Koeverden (@vankayak) October 22, 2019
Aside from his incredible sports career, Adam has extensive volunteer experience with organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation, the Special Olympics and Right to Play. He’s also done broadcasting, writing and production work with the CBC, according to The Canadian Press.
Adam told reporters his biggest goal when he heads to Ottawa will be to continue to listen to his constituents.
“I think there is a lot of talking in politics and there is not enough listening,” he said after his win.