October 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Rebagliati will seek the Liberal Party of Canada candidacy in the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Rebagliati was the first snowboarder to win a Gold Medal in the Olympics. in 1998 at Nagano. Rebagliati was stripped of his Gold Medal shortly there after for testing positive for marijuana. The medal was eventually reinstated as it was determined that marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug.
“Ross’ profile, energy and history of community activism will be a tremendous asset to our association and our Party,” said Mr. Darvinder Garcha riding President. “We are thrilled to have him as a candidate for the nomination and look forward to working with him to reach out to the people of Okanagan-Coquihalla and take on Stockwell Day and his narrow Reform-Conservative agenda.”
Since making Olympic history at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, Ross Rebagliati has taken advantage of his love of sport to reach out to youth in his community. He is an avid supporter of education for youth and a tireless promoter of fitness and healthy lifestyles for children. The Rebagliati Snowboarding Racing camps are held at Apex Mountain near Penticton.
“Since Nagano I have dedicated my life to furthering amateur sport and youth issues,” said Mr. Rebagliati. “This desire to make a difference, combined with my long-held Liberal values and great respect for Michael Ignatieff, have led to my decision to seek the nomination in Okanagan-Coquihalla. I thank Darvinder and the team for the confidence they have placed in me.”
As an active member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Ross has helped grant the wishes of children from across Canada and internationally. He is also an active supporter of many local charities including the Whistler Rotary Club, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Kids Help Phone. Ross and his wife Alexandra are the loving parents of a 5 month old son.
On February 8, 1998, Ross Rebagliati made Olympic history in Nagano, Japan by winning the first ever gold medal for snowboarding. In Canada and around the world, fans of the sport celebrated the Olympic milestone. In 2005, to commemorate Ross’ inclusion in the pages of history, he was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
Breaking records from day one
Born in 1971, Ross took to the mountains at an early age. With his snowboard in hand, he moved to Whistler in 1990 to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class athlete. In 1991, Ross took top position at the Canadian and U.S. Amateur Snowboard Championships. As the years moved forward so did Ross’ winning streak. Over the next few years, Ross took home a gold medal both at the Mount Baker Banked Slalom (1992) and the U.S. Open (1994). Following his win at the U.S. Open, Ross travelled to Germany to compete in and the European Championships. There Ross not only carved his way to the finish line and the top spot on the podium but was the first non-European to win at the European Championships.
Racing into the pages of history
With the European Championship win under his belt, Ross focused his training on winning the 1996 World Cup in his hometown of Whistler, B.C. Surrounded by Canadian fans and neighbours, Ross raced to the finish line to take home the winning medal.
Making its Olympic debut in 1998, snowboarding was quickly becoming known as the world’s ground-breaking new sport. At the Olympic snowboarding giant slalom race, Ross competed with the world’s top athletes. His years of training and endurance paid off, as he raced to victory and brought home the gold medal for Canada.
Inspiring future Olympians
Ross has been able to take his love of the sport to reach out to youth in the community. As an active member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Ross has helped grant the wishes of children from as far away as Florida. Ross’ name and offer of a snowboarding lesson can be seen on silent auction ballots for many local charities including the Whistler Rotary Club and B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. Always happy to meet with upcoming Olympic hopefuls, Ross is an active participant at annual events hosted by the Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver and Kids Help Phone.
A home-grown hero
Visitors to Whistler now have the opportunity to take a run down Ross’ Gold at Blackcomb and take a stroll in Rebagliati Park.
What people are saying about Ross
“Ross Rebagliati’s youth and energy would bring fresh perspective to the issues of the Okanagan-Coquihalla area. I am confident that he would have the same dedication and commitment to his constituents as he did to his Olympic sport. I am pleased to support him.” –
Liberal Senator Larry Campbell
Liberal Party of Canada (BC) Communications Chair
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