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Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak Hospitalized After Heart Attack

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is recovering in the hospital Saturday after suffering a massive heart attack while cross-country skiing.

According to John Stiles, former communication director for Rybak, he had completed almost eight miles of skiing at Theodore Wirth Park before complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.

Stiles says the former mayor bumped into some friends right after the heart attack.

“They said ‘We’re going to call 911 for you,’ and they did,” Stiles said.

Rybak was taken by ambulance to Abbot at 1 p.m., where he underwent an angioplasty and received two stents.

He was upbeat when he tweeted two and a half hours after being admitted.

He also sent out a positive tweet about ski conditions at Wirth.

Rybak’s daughter Grace says her father is doing well and is in good spirits.

“His sense of humor is very much intact. We’ve been in visiting with him, and he’s been chatting and joking around with all the doctors and nurses in there,” Rybak said. “So he’s feeling much better.”

She says that although her father is fit and active, there is a family history of heart problems.

“His father had some pretty serious heart problems and his grandfather as well,” she said.

Rybak, 58, just finished his 12-year run as Minneapolis mayor this week after not seeking re-election. Betsy Hodges was officially sworn in as the city’s new mayor on Thursday.

Hodges posted a message of support on her Facebook page early Saturday evening.

“My thoughts and prayers are with RT and Megan and their family tonight. And I carry the message of the city: that all of us are holding them in our hearts tonight and wishing for the swiftest possible healing for RT,” Hodges said.

Senator Amy Klobuchar also released a statement, wishing Rybak a “speedy recovery.”

“A man of boundless energy and stamina and optimism, he will rise to this challenge as he has risen to so many for the City of Minneapolis, our state and country,” Klobuchar said.

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