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It was snowboarding’s first appearance at the Olympics. He explained that he had stopped smoking almost a year earlier, as part of his training.Rebagliati, who hadn't had a top three finish on the pro tour that season, was the first snowboarder to win gold. Then, almost as quickly, he became known for something else. In the lead up to the Olympics, though, Rebagliati had attended a wake for a friend that had been caught in an avalanche.Ross Rebagliati, the Canadian Olympic champion snowboarder, is bringing his name and brand to the medical marijuana industry.
His margin of victory: two one-hundredths of a second.
Rebagliati is betting Canadians will remember his story – his first-place snowboard win in Nagano, Japan; being stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana; and having the medal restored after it turned out the drug was not among those banned by the Olymic committee. “From our standpoint of healthy lifestyle and sporting background of excellence – with my gold medal in Nagano – we feel that that’s going to be an attraction to people who are in the cannabis industry already and people who are new to it,” he added.
Ross’s Gold will lend its name to a line of products, with its Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels denoting varying strengths of THC.
It was a really dark time," says Rebagliati."Most people just assume that I made millions of dollars from winning gold.
Winners of the men's giant slalom celebrate on the podium in Nagano, Japan, in February 1998.
Rebagliati and partner Patrick Smyth also foresee opportunities to improve on marijuana products, if Health Canada can be convinced.