A champion candidate in Parksville-Qualicum

Michelle Stilwell throws her hat in the ring for Liberal nomination

A world champion on the track, Michelle Stilwell is about to compete in a very different kind of race.

The NEWS learned on Thursday that Stilwell is the only candidate who has declared her intention to seek the B.C. Liberal nomination in the Parksville-Qualicum riding.

“It’s something I have been thinking about for several years but athletics has always taken precedence,” said Stilwell, 38. “I know I am a hard worker and determined and when I set a goal I do my best to achieve it.”

Constituency association president Bruce Cownden confirmed Stilwell’s candidacy has been approved by the party. He said other candidates may surface before or even during the  Jan. 8 nomination meeting.

“I think (Stilwell) will make a great candidate and it’s nice to see a young candidate,” said Cownden. “I think it gives us an opportunity to hold the riding.”

Stilwell said her political experience is limited to being a member of various boards.

“It’s all about being a voice for the people you represent,” she said.

The City of Parksville dedicated September 23 of this year as Michelle Stilwell Day after she returned from the London Paralympics with a gold and silver medal from the 200-metre and 100-metre wheelchair sprints, respectively. She is also the first person in Parksville’s history to be awarded a key to the city.

At that ceremony in September, Stilwell, 38, hinted about a desire to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil. Those plans could be sidetracked by a successful political campaign.

“I would have to run in the election, and win the election, before that decision would have to be made,” she said Thursday.

Since returning from London, Stilwell said she has been training and home-schooling her son Kai, 11. She said the decision to enter politics will include her family’s input.

“My husband (Mark) is definitely used to juggling my lifestyle,” she said. “He’s been very supportive.”

In total, Stilwell has four gold medals and one silver from three Paralympics Games, and five gold and two silver from world championship events. Stilwell broke her neck when falling backwards off a piggyback from her boyfieind when she was 17.










Just Posted

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Vehicle knocks out Parksville power pole

Traffic single lane heading southbound

Qualicum Beach man arrested after women report disturbing phone calls

Suspect threatened to kill victim’s family if she did not engage in sexually explicit conversation

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Highway 19A closed in both directions near Union Bay

An incident involving a vehicle has shut down Highway 19A in both directions early Saturday morning.

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read