January 20, 2019 10:06 pm
Updated: January 20, 2019 11:21 pm

Former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Milton

Canadian Olympian Adam van Koeverden carries a kayak at the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville, Ont. on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden has won the federal Liberal nomination in Milton Sunday.

The Liberal Party made the announcement Sunday evening on Twitter.

The party said in a statement that the “long-time Liberal … received early support from a broad spectrum of community and business leaders in Milton and spent several weeks knocking on doors and meeting with the families within the riding.”

Van Koeverden has won four medals at the Olympics, including gold – the most by any Canadian paddler – as well as two world championships. He was Canada’s flagbearer at the Olympic games in Athens and Beijing.

He will be running against veteran Conservative MP Lisa Raitt in Milton.

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Raitt has held the riding since it was first created in 2015 and has been a high profile member of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet. She was appointed the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

Van Koeverden, 36, announced his intention to run as a Liberal candidate last October.

According to a website outlining his candidacy, van Koeverden’s campaign will put an emphasis on youth, sport, physical education and healthy communities.

WATCH: Olympic gold medallist Adam van Koeverden ends his career with donation to Right To Play

The riding has not been without controversy. The party’s 2015 candidate, Azim Rizvee, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed him to resign.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told me and my wife very aggressively that Adam van Koeverden is his preferred candidate for the Milton riding,” Rizvee said in a statement Saturday. “The Liberal party leadership did not allow me to contest the nomination so that [the] prime minister’s preferred candidate, Adan van Koeverden, can be nominated.”

A Liberal spokesperson said the Milton nomination followed the party’s nomination rules and more than 800 Liberal members voted.

Braeden Caley did not provide a breakdown of the results but said the other nomination candidate was Mian Abubaqr, the president of the Milton riding association.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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