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Cross-country skiing champion Kristina Šmigun-Vähi running for parliament

Kristina Šmigun-Vähi.
Kristina Šmigun-Vähi. Source: ERR

Less than four months before the general election, parties continue to look for celebrities to join their ranks. The Reform Party's latest candidate for parliament is two-time Olympic champion Kristina Šmigun-Vähi.

As TV channel Kanal 2 said on Tuesday evening, Šmigun-Vähi will run for parliament for the Reform Party in the Central Tallinn electoral district.

Her comments to the channel's Radar magazine provide a pretty good overview why the party would choose her: "I'm not entering politics as a top-level athlete, I'm going there as a hard-working Estonian woman who cares for her children and their future. Women like that especially should be given a louder voice, which I hope to be contributing to," Šmigun-Vähi said.

After the end of her cross-country skiing career, Šmigun-Vähi completed a degree in economics at the University of Tartu. "I feel I'm ready now to give my all for the good of Estonia," the 41-year-old said.

Reform Party chairwoman, Kaja Kallas said that talking to Šmigun-Vähi, she had found that the former athlete shares the party's world view.

In February 2016 Šmigun-Vähi won Olympic gold in the 7.5-km double pursuit. She won a second gold medal in the 10-km classical in the same Olympics just days later. In February 2010, she won Olympic silver in the 10-km freestyle race. She announced her retirement in the same year.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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