Ross Rebagliati to sign autographs in Edmonton for Make-A-Wish charity
Rebagliati to visit Mud, Sweat & Gears
Posted By Ryan Frankson News Staff
Posted 1 day ago
One of Canada’s most infamous and well-known Olympic gold medal winners will be in Sherwood Park this weekend.
Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who captured the first-ever gold medal in the sport at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, will be at Mud, Sweat and Gears tomorrow (Saturday) from 10 a.m. all day until 5 p.m., signing autographs, meeting fans and helping the local business raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“It’s always a pretty neat inspiration to have someone like that come visit our store,” Mud, Sweat and Gears owner Paul Burgess said.
“He certainly did us all proud when he got the first gold medal in snowboarding. That was pretty cool. It should be a fun day. We have lots of prizes and give-aways for everyone who stops by.”
Rebagliati made global headlines immediately following his gold-medal victory at the Olympics when he was found to have marijuana in his circulatory system and was automatically disqualified. This decision was eventually overturned, largely on the basis that marijuana is not listed as a performance enhancing drug, and Rebagliati was given back his gold medal. Burgess said the added infamy of the snowboarder should only encourage more people to come meet the now 37-year-old.
“Snowboarding is definitely an industry and a sport that’s got a bit of an edge to it, so it’s nothing damaging to all that he’s accomplished in his career,” Burgess said. “He’ll have his gold medal here and people can get their picture taken with him or he can autograph your snowboard. It’s pretty neat for the kids to come out and meet an Olympian. He thought it sounded like a lot of fun as well, so he’s excited to come here.”
The Whistler, B.C., native has been able to take his love of snowboarding and success in the sport to reach out to youth in the community. As an active member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rebagliati has helped grant the wishes of children from as far away as Florida. Burgess said he’s honoured to team up with Rebagliati for the fundraiser.
“We feel like (Make-A-Wish) is a really good organization that provides unique opportunities for kids,” he said. “We are going to give you a photo of Ross, autographed, and you can have your picture taken with him and get a T-shirt as well. And then we’d like you to make a donation, and all that money will go directly to Make-A-Wish.”
Rebagliati is the second Olympic gold medallist MSG has welcomed to its store, as Edmonton cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer made an appearance in August in order to support a fundraiser for Kids With Cancer.
The event coincides with MSG’s kickoff to the ski and snowboard season, and 100.3 The Bear radio station will also be broadcasting on Saturday live on location, which is 133 Main Blvd., right next to Tim Horton’s.