Canadian Olympian Jeane Lassen has announced she is seeking the Liberal nomination for Takhini-Kopper King.
The riding is currently held by NDP MLA Kate White.
For the past 20 years, Lassen has been travelling the world while representing Canada and the Yukon at various weightlifting competitions.
In 2008 she became the first Yukon athlete to participate at a Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, placing eighth in the 75-kilogram division.
She also coached Christine Girard, who went on to win a bronze medal at the London Games in 2012.
Now, Lassen says she’s ready to start giving back.
“Serving the people of Takhini-Kopper King by representing them at the legislative assembly would be the greatest privilege,” she said from the Yukon Arts Centre yesterday.
“Sandy Silver has a leadership style that resonates with me. I appreciate he’s looking to build a team of diverse candidates.”
Lassen said her biggest priority is community engagement and making Yukoners feel like they’re being listened to.
A lot of people don’t go to the polls, but she wants to change that by getting people more engaged, she added.
Growing up in the Takhini Trailer Court, Lassen was always involved in physical activities.
Tobogganing, climbing the clay cliffs, biking to school, delivering newspapers, stacking firewood and playing street hockey were some examples she gave.
But it was in the summer of 2014, when her friend Tamara Goeppel joined the race to become the Yukon’s next Liberal MP, that she decided she wanted to make a foray into politics.
“That seed was planted then and it’s been on my mind ever since,” she said.
Lassen also wants to advocate for people who live in trailer parks.
Those people face different barriers, she added, and she’d like to help address that.
“There’s a cycle of debt that can occur when you’re paying a mortgage and a pad rent at the same time,” she said.
In 2014, tenants of the Takhini Trailer Court were notified of a $25 per month pad rent increase, up to $410 per month as of June of that year. That’s on top of the mortgage most homeowners pay on their trailer.
Lassen was born in Victoria, B.C. and moved to Whitehorse while in Grade 4.
She took up weightlifting a couple years later at age 12.
She won silver at the 1995 Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alta. at the age of 14.
She graduated from F.H. Collins Secondary School in 1998 and studied Education at McGill University in Montreal, Que. She retired from competitive weightlifting in 2009.
Lassen has also taught at Whitehorse Elementary and worked as a physical literacy coordinator at Sport Yukon.
Contact Myles Dolphin at