MINNEAPOLIS - Just weeks after a Jan. 4 heart attack, former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was back on skis.

"I am great," Rybak said. "I have never felt better."

The former Minneapolis mayor led off the Luminary Loppet at Lake Calhoun on Saturday night.

"I have more energy than ever which in some ways is a frightening thought," Rybak said.

Rybak was instrumental in bringing the City of the Lakes Loppet Ski Festival to Minneapolis 12 years ago.

While he wasn't sure he would be able to ski so soon after the heart attack, he says he was able to take part in the event this weekend due, in part, to quality of care he received.

"I had a heart attack because of genetics. I am back here (skiing) because of lifestyle," he said.

Rybak said that if he would have been leading an unhealthy lifestyle, he wouldn't have survived the heart attack.

As for the Loppet, more than 11,000 participants will take part in the event. Sunday will feature a 42k race as well as fat tire bike races and a sled dog event.

For more information on the Loppet Ski Festival, go to www.loppet.org/cityoflakesloppet.