11/21/2014 09:52 EST | Updated 01/21/2015 05:59 EST

Alexa Loo: Chinese-only signs in Richmond 'ridiculous'

Olympic snowboarder Alexa Loo — who competed in the 2006 and 2010 games — won a seat as an independent on Richmond council in last weekend's municipal election.

In an interview with Rick Cluff of CBC Vancouver's Early Edition she outlined her transition from world-class athlete to civic politician and detailed her plans for the City of Richmond.

On why she got involved in politics

"I was able to see how my training as a chartered accountant, how my training as an Olympian, all came together to help me work with government, work on policies, and have a much bigger impact than I could just personally doing one off little things."

On winning as an independent

"I worked really hard and went to tonnes of events. I've been working for the last few years to get my name out, to get my face on people's fridges and it worked out."

On why she wanted to join city council

"I grew up in Richmond. And I was able to grow up and become a chartered accountant and a two-time Olympian and I'd like to be able to make sure that I'm creating a Richmond that other people can grow to their potential."

On the issue of Chinese-only signs in Richmond

"I believe in inclusivity and as such we have to have signs that people can understand. The whole point of having a sign is that people communicate. Well, if you're not communicating in a common language, what's the point of having this sign? It's ridiculous."

"I think sometimes there is a fear around putting up an English sign, because now, there is an expecation I have to speak English, as the shop owner. And there is a real fear there if you are not comfortable operating in that language. However you are never going to get better if you don't try."

What's Richmond's most important issue

"Figuring out how we provide the best services and facilities that we can for people so that we're protecting their physical and mental health. So that they're able to be contributing members in our community."

On her vision for Richmond

"That Richmond stays the healthiest city in Canada and maybe we could be the healthiest city in the world."