Article by High! Canada
At the 1998 Winter Olympics, Ross Rebagliati was the first to ever win an Olympic Gold medal for Men’s Snowboarding. After winning the Gold, he was found to have THC in his system following a blood test and was automatically disqualified. This decision was eventually overturned and Ross was given back the medal. The next day, Ross appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has since become a cultural phenomenon in the cannabis world as an outspoken advocate of medical cannabis.
The combination of cannabis and sport has become an underground trend in distance-running culture. Runners like Avery Collins and Jen Shelton have admitted to running under the power of marijuana. Former professional runner Chris Barnicle, a cannabis advocate living in Los Angeles, calls himself the “world’s fastest stoner” on Twitter. Pro-cannabis running groups are popping up in every city and its members are dedicated to staying it and educating others about cannabis. Online communities like Cannafit and NORML Athletics also promote cannabis’ association with healthy living.
And it’s not just runners who are experimenting with weed. Bodybuilders may hit a bong to prevent soreness and to sleep better, while action sports athletes such as mountain bikers, skiers, and snowboarders may light up on the lift to loosen up and release their inhibitions before a daring run. Even some athletes participating in sports such as football, MMA, baseball. basketball and hockey are seeing an increased interest in cannabis and it’s more beneficial properties. One of these beneficial properties is that cannabis can increase impulsive responses, leading to more risk-taking behaviour without affecting decisionmaking—which can be beneficial in competitions. Studies also suggest cannabis can increase oxygenation of tissues, improve vision and concentration, help athletes forget previous traumatic experiences related to the activity (like falls or injuries), reduce muscle spasms, and aid in pain relief.
It’s no wonder athletes are turning to cannabis in record numbers. It is important to remember that more scientific research is needed to determine the overall performance-enhancing effects. Another recent study stresses the importance of developing a better understanding of the relationship between cannabis and exercise as political, cultural, and legal trends are rapidly changing.
Not long ago, whenever professional athletes dabbled with marijuana, it was bad news: multigame suspensions, ruined careers, endless stoner jokes. Not anymore. With a number of prominent athletes like former NFL running back Ricky Williams to former NBA All-Star (and Survivor contestant) Cliff Robinson to MMA fighter Nick Diaz to Former NHL player Riley Cote speaking up about medical cannabis – that old mindset is changing.
High! Canada Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Canada’s own Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Rebaglaiti recently to see what he thought about this and other important things going on in the cannabis community overall. Ross thanks for joining us today. Congrats on Higher Grounds! Thank you! I just watched it the other night! Great documentary telling your story!
How did that come about?
TSN wanted to tell my story for my twenty year anniversary since the Nagano Winter Olympics and so a crew lew out to Kelowna for a week getting the all the shots. They put a lot into it. Time and effort was no object. They wanted to tell my story and they got it right! What else is going on with you? Besides family priorities of ski racing with Ryan, playing with 5-year-old princess Rosie and little 2-year-old boy Rocco, plus keeping my wife happy (not sure if that’s possible lol!)
I have a pretty full plate most of the time. and that sounds like a full plate and a half. I hear you have been expanding your business as well?
We at Ross’ Gold ™ have created a boutique dispensary model that is franchising across Canada. We have inked a supply deal with Valens Grow Works. A BC bud craft LP based in BC giving our premium Ross’ Gold ™ brand special powers within the federal framework. Ross’ Gold ™ dispensaries and cannabis products coming soon to a cannabis outlet near you. Expect to see the Ross’ Gold ™ brand in all the government-owned stores as well.
What other future endeavours are you involved in?
I’ve recently created a brand new luxury brand called Legacy and our tagline is: A Growing Lifestyle™. Legacy supports grow your own cannabis products and lifestyle gear. Legacy carries nutrients, organic soil systems by Destiny. Legacy papers by HAZO, HAZO plants a tree for every pack sold. At Legacy, we believe in giving back and that’s what HAZO does. We also have Co2 enhancers by TNB. Grow tents, lights, ballasts etc all coming soon.
Our Lifestyle gear supports your free time away from the garden which includes our handmade powder to park model Skevik skis that we produce out of Vernon BC. We are also launching the best ever premium espresso beans from Frog Friendly Coffee. These coffee beans originate from a protected rainforest in Mexico. Legacy is also pleased to be partners in an award-winning edibles facility out of Oliver BC that will be producing for other brands but primarily for Legacy.
Our featured edible is a vegan, gluten-free chocolate coated energy bite infused with CBD. Legacy bites are geared towards endurance athletes’, who need focus and relief from aching tired muscles and a sustained energy release from a healthy snack. Perfect for all three pre/during/after workouts; THC infused and 1:1 THC/CBD coming as well. Our most prized product will be a CBD energy shot by Lucid (a Legacy partner). “Clear your mind with Lucid” A great way to study or focus for sustained periods and perfect for washing down a Legacy CBD Bite for that extra boost during a workout. All natural and no crash!
Finally, we are making available the first ever THC antidote (CannaRelief) for those times your friend greens out and thinks they are dying lol! I know what that’s like!
CannaRelief has brought me back to earth before and the stories we hear are hilarious! You can also take CannaRelief before you dose so as to block the psychoactive effect but still have the medicinal benefits. Dab bars, vape lounges, and other public consumption spaces will love this product.
Look for the Legacy launch in the spring of 2018.
Do you think that cannabis-based products should be used in professional sports? Why?
I do think cannabis-based products should be used in professional sports. Coaches are already giving athletes terrible substances that are addictive killers that know no boundaries where the athletes become addicted and ruin their lives and those lives around them. Cannabis and its derivatives (CBD/THC etc) are not physically addictive, extremely effective and sustainable for a lifetime of demerit. Healthy eating, sleeping, and training are all part of a cannabis lifestyle.
Healthy mind = Healthy body
Healthy body = Healthy mind
Cannabis can do that for you. As WADA has taken CBD off of the list of banned substances Olympic athletes can now come out of the CBD closet and tell their stories like I have.