A Professional Snowboarder

Ross Rebagliati  is a Canadian professional snowboarder and founder of

Snowboarding Whistler

Ross’ Gold, a Canadian Medical Cannabis branding company.

After turning pro in 1991, he was the first ever to win an Olympic gold medal for Men’s Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics. After winning the gold, he was found to have Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his circulatory system and he was automatically disqualified. This decision was eventually overturned, largely on the basis that marijuana was not on the list of banned substances, and Rebagliati was given back the medal.

After the Olympics, Rebagliati headed to Los Angeles, where he was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show. While in Southern California, he stayed at the Beverly Hilton and zoomed around in an NBC-provided silver Porsche Boxter. “From jail to palm trees and the pool,” he said.

By the day of the taping, on Feb. 16, SNL had already done its Ross Rebagliati sketch. At one point in the bit, Breuer, a master of the stoner squint, told Will Ferrell, who played Jim Nantz, that “they should give me a medal just for showing up on time!” Then, like clockwork, Tracy Morgan showed up as a member of the Jamaican bobsled team.

On The Tonight Show, Leno jokingly referred to him as “nickel bag-liati” at the end of the interview, but he otherwise went easy on his smiling guest.

Rebagliati wound up flying back to Canada in time to appear the next day at a rally in Whistler, the resort town outside Vancouver where he lived. After the event, which drew thousands, he went home to his 600-square foot apartment and realized, “this isn’t gonna work.” Rebagliati had plenty of fun—he was single at the time—but it took him a while to adjust to fame. People started recognizing him everywhere he went. To cope, he lived for a stretch out of a camper by a rural lake. “You kind of go too far one way then too far the other way,” he said. “Over time you center yourself.”

On August 2, 2006 Rebagliati filed suit against Canadian television broadcaster CTV. The suit was filed in the British Columbia  Supreme Court, and charges CTV with misappropriation of personality, breach of privacy and defamation. Rebagliati claims that a character on their TV series  is based on him and has damaged his image. The character in question, Beck MacKaye, is a blond, blue-eyed, Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder who lives in Whistler. CTV denied his claims, but the suit was ultimately settled out of court.

Rebagliati was the subject of full-page coverage in the July 14, 2008 edition of Sports Illustrated, which profiled his life since his Olympic win.

On October 23, 2009, Rebagliati announced that he would seek the federal Liberal Party nomination for the Okanagan—Coquihalla riding, in British Columbia. At the time, political observers suggested that this could be a tough challenge for the former Olympian, as the seat was held by Minister of International Trade,Stockwell Day. Eventually he bowed out as his business ventures brought him home to Whistler.

For the past five years, Mr. Rebagliati has been involved in multi-million dollar real estate development projects throughout British Columbia, as well as residential construction.

In January 2013, Ross and his business partner, Patrick Smyth launched Ross’ Gold, a medical marijuana business. Ross’s Gold primary focus remains on establishing a brand in Canada and gaining a foothold in the industry once the federal government’s new regulations come into play in April 2014. Under the new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, cannabis would be treated as any other narcotic used for medical purposes, enabling patients to acquire products as needed based on a health-care practitioner’s prescription.

Since announcing the launch of Ross’ Gold medical marijuana, Rebagliati has been featured in numerous publications including USA Today, the Huffington Post, the CBC with Jian Ghomeshi, The Toronto Sun, and the Cover of High Times in October 2013. In April 2014, Ross’ Gold did a reverse merger with Green & Hill Industries to go public under the listing OTC PINK GHIL.