Snowboarder settles lawsuit over TV show 'cheap shot'
VANCOUVER - Ross Rebagliati, who the won the first Olympic snowboarding gold medal, has settled his lawsuit with television network CTV.
Mr. Rebagliati launched the suit in 2006 when CTV introduced its TV show, Whistler, promoted as an exposé of the elite snow sports and high-living community in the resort town north of Vancouver.
The professional boarder said his website, e-mail and Facebook site were flooded by comments from people who found its central character, a blond, blue-eyed party animal with an Olympic gold medal named Beck McKaye, to be startling like Mr. Rebagliati.
Ross Rebagliati was the first Olympic gold medallist in snowboarding.
"He lived in Whistler, he was the same height, had the same colour hair, the same haircut and wore the same red jacket with white sleeves that I wore on the podium in 1998 when I got my gold medal," Mr. Rebagliati said yesterday.
"They didn't directly connect the character to the controversy surrounding my medal, but through innuendo and general stereotyping implied that he was unsavoury or had brushes with the law -- it was a real cheap shot."
Mr. Rebagliati had his gold medal, won at the Nagano, Japan Games, stripped after he tested positive for marijuana. The decision was eventually overturned, and the medal given back.