While former athletes running for political office in the U.S. is no big deal – Jesse “The Body” Ventura is still the greatest governor ever – it’s still pretty cool when it happens, especially when the athlete in question is 6-foot-7 and still a reigning world champion. In this case, WBC Heavyweight Champ Vitali Klitschko told the Ukrainian Parliament yesterday that he is going to run for president in 2015, and even his declaration sounds like it came from the beginning of a Jason Bourne movie.
“I want to say that I cannot be intimidated or stopped,” Vitali Klitschko, 42, said from the Ukrainian parliament rostrum in the capital city of Kiev. “In order to put an end to various attempts to get rid of me as a possible candidate, I want to say that I’m running for president.”
He added: “I have a residence permit in Germany, but this doesn’t violate the Ukrainian legislation, and I’ve always been a citizen of Ukraine.” (Via CNN)
A fun way to imagine what he’s talking about when he mentions “various attempts to get rid of me” is to think of him waking up in the morning to get ready for his political meetings and whatnot, and having to fight off scores of ninjas and assassins by boxing them, and then showing up to parliament to face the current president’s army of trained fighters. Basically, my brain is like a Russian version of the Japanese restaurant battle in Kill Bill.
But I guess the important question is “Why, comrade? Why should I say, ‘Da’ to a Klitschko presidency?”
“We want to build democracy in Ukraine,” Klitschko told ESPN.com before the Charr fight. “In Ukraine, you can buy everyone. You can buy every position, every judge, you buy every court decision. The biggest enemy to democracy is that there are no clear rules and so much corruption. Ukrainian politics is simple business and we have to change that. It’s painful to say that Ukraine is the most corrupt country in world and we need to change that. We are for more democracy [and] freedom of speech.”
“It’s tough job, to be honest,” he said. “I have learned lessons about Ukrainian politics, and I want to make changes in Ukraine. I am not alone. Together, me and many other people, we have a vision. We are fighting for changes in Ukraine and real democracy in Ukraine.” (Via ESPN)
Okay, sounds important or whatever, I guess. But it will probably mean that Klitty – he’s cool with me calling him that – will have to surrender his title, since he’s not fighting this year and all. I just wish it was actually Wladimir Klitschko so Ukraine could have First Lady Hayden Panettiere.
I’m not going to lie… I kind of want to know how they do it.