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Former Minneapolis Mayor Rybak hospitalized

  • Associated Press
  • January 4, 2014 - 11:05 PM

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was taken to a hospital Saturday after cross-country skiing and underwent a heart procedure, according to a hospital spokesman.

Rybak, 58, had been skiing at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis when he experienced a shortness of breath and chest pains Saturday afternoon, according to Allina Health spokesman Tim Burke.

Rybak was taken by ambulance to Abbott Northwestern Hospital at about 1 p.m., Burke said. He was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab, where doctors performed an angioplasty and inserted two stents, according to Burke.

Rybak was reported to be resting comfortably and visiting with family. By late afternoon, he was posting on Twitter.

"My cardiac surprise/Gave me quite a start/But it proves this politician/Has a great big heart," he tweeted. He added: "By the way the ski trails at Wirth are awesome today."

John Stiles, a former spokesman for Rybak, told the Associated Press that the Twitter account belonged to the former lawmaker and that the tweets were his.

Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement Saturday, extending his "very best wishes" to Rybak.

"We all pray for his swift and complete recovery," he wrote.

Dayton also thanked emergency responders and medical personnel "whose talents and training made the critical difference in the life of this outstanding leader, who has given so much to the people of Minneapolis and all of Minnesota."

Rybak served for 12 years but did not seek re-election to a fourth term last year. Betsy Hodges was sworn in as the new mayor Thursday.

Rybak recently became head of Generation Next, a partnership of education, community, government and business leaders aimed at closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.

© 2014 Star Tribune