2000 Canadian Sport Awards
ALSO ON SLAM!
Ross Rebagliati spearheaded a Canadian record medal haul at the Nagano Olympics by winning the gold medal in the giant slalom snowboard competition. The victory capped a remarkable comeback for Rebagliati who was in eighth spot after the first run
The 26-year-old Whistler resident overcame several months of anxiety leading up to the gold-medal race. After he was named to the Olympic team he felt very nervous about competing at the Games and endured many sleepless nights. He wanted to do well.
"Winning the Olympic gold was like the weight of the world had been taken off my shoulders'" he said. "I was having anxiety attacks all summer long. I was thinking about all that's involved in being at the Olympic Games."
Of course he never anticipated the stress he'd face in the following days after his Olympic win. But he handled himself with such aplomb during the whole ordeal that it made him a household name right across the country.
Rebagliati dedicated his Olympic snowboard victory to one of his best friends Geoff Leidal who was killed about a month earlier in an avalanche. Leidal and Rebagliati use to often slide together and just hang out.
Rebagliati originally wanted to be a surfer. But he chose snowboarding about 12 years ago because it was the next best thing. Great decision. Today he is an Olympic champion and one of the best known athletes in Canada.