Ex-Olympic speed skating champ Shimizu to run for Diet seat from Suzuki’s party


Former Olympic gold medalist Hiroyasu Shimizu will run in next month’s Lower House election on the ticket of a small opposition party, its chief said Friday.

New Party Daichi-Shinminshu will field Shimizu, a 38-year-old former speed skater, in the first constituency of Hokkaido in the Dec. 16 House of Representative elections, party chief Muneo Suzuki said at a press conference with Shimizu at his side.

Suzuki, a former Lower House member of the Liberal Democratic Party who was convicted of bribery and paroled last year, is ineligible at present to run for a Diet seat.

Shimizu won the gold medal in the 500-meter race and the bronze medal in the 1,000-meter race at the 1998 Nagano Games and the silver medal in the 500-meter event at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.