Tag Archives: podcast

The Rule of Longboard Hockey is … artifacts, drafts etc

Originally appeared in Heads Magazine (now defunct) in the XX, 200? issue with photos by Kris Krug

See also:

Video clips

Podcast – Choogle on with Uncle Weed

Photo set by Kris Krug

The Rule of Longboard Hockey is …

Driving into the forested far reaches of the University of British Columbia campus I really wasn’t sure what to expect – the note told me to show up saturday, midnight at a secret parking garage location – wondering should i have left a note with someone?

With mild trepidation, I followed the echoing noise to the basement as a chain of longboarders cruise past me, carving wide turns before dropping into the “rink” with a game of longboard hockey in full swing sprawling beyond the nets: Burnaby Blood vs. Chilliwack Methheads. Gotta learn quick to stay alert as the game action intersects with the de facto tailgate party of longboarders and boards of every shape – hi end drop decks downhill racing boards to decks homemade from old wooden water skiis.

This is no slop fest, this games has rules. You gotta have one foot on the board to play the puck, (exception goalies whose board becomes part shield, part deadly cricket bat), and you gotta play for the city you live in – you move, you’re traded, that’s it. The game is tough and full contact like they were taught by “The Jacks” an outlaw California skateboard gang who brought the game north (for the record, the Canadians now routinely quash their yankee mentors).

The puck is a beer can but your standard aluminum container would quickly disintegrate so you must use a heartily constructed Sapporo can imported from Japan – though I spy a few odd Polynesian guava tin juice can on the sidelines as practice pucks. After each goal, the teams line up along the goalline, the puck/can is placed in the middle and a metal coil is rung to signal the teams to maniacally trade ends, including the goalie who charges fullbrunt atop a longboard in full battle gear into the gauntlet of opposing players.

The Methheads are up 2-1 thanks to a wiry dude sans helmet who snakes through defenders – hard sliding to the left while shooting off the right, one foot flying behind. Just when it looks easy, he takes a hit goes Bobby-Orr-flying through the air onto the pavement, then leaps back up before being run down. Turns out this savant is “King” Brian who skates for the 9-0 Chilliwack team. He’s also the Longboard Hockey League’s defending scoring champ and frequent curator of the Chanley Cup, the beaten trophy (bought at a Flea Market for $5 and clever negotiation) which is tossed onto the pavement each night and ‘seasoned’ with the game play and hauled home by the vanquishing team each night. In May, the top two teams from the year battle for ultimate supremecy as part of a four-day longboard fiesta at the appropriatedly-named Danger Bay.

On the stuffed elevator ride to the 6th floor, before I can pull the fattie of Chocolate Jack Herer from behind my ear, a smiling chick in blond pigtails and a Team Canada jersey sparks a beauty doobie. This is the Blood’s goalie Natasha getting in another run before playing her former team, the North Shore Slashers after they finish off the Shitmix. She doesn’t seem insane yet she eagerly faces wildmen firing beer cans at her head, “It’s nuts out there, there are no rules, everyone should try it.”

She was auto-traded to Burnaby when she moved across the 2nd Narrows bridge so her old mates are stuck with a scrub in goal. With the game underway, she’s clearly not intimidated – batting cans out of midair and hurling the beerpuck back at Wolfman and his Slashers teammates. I also notice a skinny, curly-haired teammate who is skating like the wind and taking a serious beating … elbows to the ribs, cans to the face, sticks to the shins … but he keeps rolling. A husky dude with blue hair exclaims, “I’ve never seen anyone take that kind of abuse in the LHL!” He’d know since Striker’s is a 5 year veteran and his consortium “Coast Longboarding” are the ringleaders of grassroots longboarding events around the wet coast and bearer of the wisdom from the Jack’s gang.

At the end of the game, Natasha yanks off her helmet with a grin and I wave her over for another fat cone rolled by another Methhead. “There’s only one joint going here?!” She’s appaled.

“Yeah, but it’s a big one,” someone answers through the cloud of smoke but she’s already grabbing another. “Hash plant, with hash too.” It’s coming on 4:20AM and she passing a heavy indica around! Beer can slapshots to the face is one thing but this is really tough! She nonchalantly says they leave, “around 5 or 6 when they kick us out and then come back next Saturday, every Saturday.”

A few cones later, I look over to see Striker, playing for the Downtown Eastside Dirty Dogs, charge into a loose can from the left wing, twisting his fireplug frame to rip a shot top shelf short side on the sprawling goalie and I realized the community and the game are equal co-conspirators to this strangley perfect recreation. No wonder they keep the secret.

##
The Rule of Longboard Hockey is …

by Dave Thorvald Olson

Driving into the forested far reaches of Vancouver to the University campus, I really wasn’t sure what to expect – the cryptic note said to show up Saturday, midnight in the basement of parking garage for full contact longboard hockey. Maybe I should’ve left a note with someone?

I followed the echoing noise as a chain of longboarders cruised past me, swooping wide turns before dropping into the “rink” where a game versus the Blood Thirsty Bastards and Methheads. Gotta stay alert as the game sprawls beyond the nets with frantic skaters on boards of every shape – hi-end dropdeck downhill racing boards to homemade rides crafted from old wooden water skiis – charge vigorously at a beer can. No regular beer can though, must be a burly Japanese import Sapporo can.

This is no slop fest, there are rules and serious skills required. The rules: You gotta have one foot on the board to play the puck, (exception goalies whose board becomes part shield, part deadly cricket bat); and you gotta play for the city you live in – you move, you’re traded, that’s it. The game is tough like they were taught by “The Jacks,” an outlaw California skateboard gang who brought the game north (but are now routinely beaten by their Canadian understudies).

After each goal, the teams line up along the goal-line, the puck/can is placed in the middle and a metal coil bell signals the squads to maniacally change ends – including the goalie charging fullbrunt in full battle gear atop a board to defend the net.

The Methheads are up 2-1 thanks to a wiry dude who effortlessly snakes through defenders, sliding hard to the left while shooting off the right foot, the other foot flying behind. Just when it looks easy, he takes a hit and goes Bobby-Orr-flying through the air onto the cold pavement but leaps up quick avoiding errant boards crushing his bare noggin.

This savant is “King” Brian who skates for the 9-0 Chilliwack team and is Longboard Hockey League’s defending scoring champ and frequent curator of the Chanley Cup. The battered trophy (bought at a Flea Market for $5 and clever negotiation) is tossed into the rink and ‘seasoned’ with the gameplay and hauled home by the vanquishing team each Saturday.

A skinny, curly-haired teammate is skating like the wind and taking a serious beating … elbows to the ribs, can to the face, sticks to the shins … but he keeps rolling on as a husky green-haired boarder exclaims, “I’ve never seen anyone take that kind of abuse in my five years in the LHL!” Beside playing for the Downtown Dirty Dogs, this boarder named Striker is the ringleader of Coast Longboarding and organizes these grassroots longboard events including the LHL championship at the appropriately-named Danger Bay.

After the game, Natasha, The Bloods’ goalie, yanks off her helmet with a grin as I wave her over for a Chocolate Jack Herer cone. “There’s only one joint going around here?!” She’s appalled and grabs another. “Hash plant, with hash mixed too. It’s almost 4:20AM as she passes the heavy indica around.

Glancing over, Striker charges at a loose can, twisting his fireplug frame to rip a shot top shelf, short side on the sprawling goalie as Natasha nonchalantly tells me they leave, “when they kick us out around 5 or 6AM and then we come back next Saturday, every Saturday.”

Seeing the community vibe like a chilled out tailgate party co-existing with the intense blood sport, I realize it’s probably a good thing they keep this strangely perfect recreation a secret.

http://coastlongboarding.com/hockey.cfm

##

Hopping the parking garage elevator with a overstuffed crowd heading to run another circuit down the five levels, i reach for the thick cone in raw paper with transit pass filter Cousin Herb rolled up for the mission but, .

skill level all over the place, some pro quality riders while others are patiently learning and taking bruises along the way – no sausage fest, at least a dozen hockey playing skater girls too. Everyone says, this is a light turnout. “But it’s secret,” i say. Maybe they just don’t want short boarders to show up? Anyhow, May long weekend is when the real fun goes down, the 4 day Danger Bay long board fest – the two top team show down for one epic game and everyone speaks of Danger Bay hippies talking about a Dead show. downhill longboard races on the sunshine coast with bands and buds? hmmmm pencil that one in.

I ask another Methhead called Tyson what possesses them to drive out from the farthest burb of Chilliwack – a town i remember mostly for grow houses and cow shit – “it’s about the community” he says rolling up a huge cone from my ample first aid kit of magik bud. his buddy XXX adds, “something else about the positive vibe.”

Sounds good to me, pulling a hoot with my head fogged and face grinning. “good stuff” he says, as i dodge a bearded dude on a six wheel skateboard barrelling down the garage ramp, “I grow some outdoor, its just do easy to put a few here and there.” i ask him what he does the rest of the week, both reply “skate and smoke.” one frames houses sometimes – that’s it, the rest is skating and toking – but they don’t talk like burned out losers, it’s just they don’t care to work, they live is a cheap place and save their time. sign me up.

On a stuffed elevator ride to the 6th floor, before I can pull the fattie of Chocolate Jack Herer from behind my ear, a smiling chick in blond pigtails and a Team Canada jersey sparks a beauty doobie. This is the Blood’s goalie Natasha getting in another run before playing her former team, the North Shore Slashers, after they finish off the Shitmix. She was auto-traded after moving and here old mates are stuck with a scrub in goal despite their high-powered offense led by Wolfman. I question the sanity of taking Sapporo cans to the face but undeterred she explains, “It’s nuts out there, there are no rules, everyone should try it.”

##

At the end of the game, Natasha yanks off her helmet with a grin and i wave her over as i gather up a few more Methheads and and a few hangers-on for another fatty. “there only one joint going here?” she asks “it’s a big one someone answers but she’s already grabbing another. “hash plant’ she says giving it a light, “with hash in it too.” it’s coming on 4:20AM and she passing a heavy indica around – beer can slapshots to the face is one thing but this is really tough but nonchalantly says they leave “around 5 or 6 when they kick us out.”

Rebagliati Positive About 2010 in “Heads – the Marijuana Lifestyle magazine”

Ross article - Heads magazine coverMy article “Rebagliati Positive About 2010” was published in “Heads – the Marijuana Lifestyle magazine” Vol. 6 Issue 10 “The Stoned Cold Issue.”

Like “Zen Rambling in Japan” the Ross article is the “Head First” lead article and over 3000 words and I also managed one photo in there (the one with the big nug). A great layout and Kris Krug‘s fine shots of a candid Ross frame the article nicley indeed.

The article discusses 1998 Nagano Olympic snowboard gold medalist and Canadian sporting legend, Ross Rebagliati’s quest for 2010 Olympics in Whistler/Vancouver plus his training routine, fundraising efforts, quest to make the team role on tour and recreational interests.

Importantly, he breaks down the events and emotions of the big shakedown in Nagano. Hear more about the fallout from his positive marijuana test from an interview I did in Vancouver during the 2006 Turin games.

Ross article, Heads magazineRoss article, Heads magazine, pg. 2
See full size images on Flickr in the Magazines of Note set

Choose between this (not really updated) Heads magazine or this Heads magazine on myspace but better off just scorcing a copy for yourself.

UPDATE: 2015, Heads magazine sadly folded a few years back. Ross is now a father and marijuana entrepreneur.

See also: Ross’ site, Ross on Flickr

##

Rebagliati Positive About 2010

by Dave Thorvald Olson

Gold Medalist Ross Rebagliati is training for 2010 Olympics on his home course, defending his reputation and spreading his wisdom to the youth

Ross Rebagliati rolled into the early morning Vancouver coffeeshop looking composed and chillaxed, deftly juggling cellphone radio interviews and answering questions via a live symposium connected to the 2006 Games in Turin. While others yawned, he grinned for snapshots and scribbled Sharpie autographs before heading back up the twisty road to Whistler for an afternoon of training.

Somehow, the thirty-something Ross manages to escape any stereotyping – balancing an elite athlete’s intensity with the laid back ease of a sagey mountain monk. No stoner drawl or disheveled appearance here, Ross is all dialed in – looking simultaneously chiseled and cherubic. Part James Bond and part Jeff Spicoli with ruddy cheeks which must get him carded 8 times out of 10 buying beer in the States. His healthy lifestyle is evident and he’s got something 007 and Spicoli dude don’t – a Gold Medal. Says so right on his business card, “Olympic Gold Medalist.”

Though his 1998 gold medal performance still draws occasional cliched punch-lines, these days Ross is a busy guy who stays rolling with good food and exercise from kick boxing to kite sailing to keep him relaxed, focused and healthy while facing a constant schedule.

Eight years after his big win, he’s become part of Canadian culture as more than, “that guy who won the gold and got busted for weed.” And it’s not just stoners toasting him when toking Nagano Gold buds or boarders admiring his success of winning the controversial inaugural event – his candor and perseverance qualified him for folk hero status to many civil libertarians.

Albeit unintentionally, Ross is a role model or an accidental martyr and is irrevocably synonymous with the positive weed test after winning the snowboard gold. But more importantly, he is known for the way he handled the incident, notably, his persistence in fighting to keep his hard-earned medal while sticking to his ideals, staying loyal to his friends, speaking out and showing that cannabis use can be a normal part of a healthy lifestyle.

Not content to rest on past accomplishments, Ross plans a return to the podium and is eyeing a place on Team Canada to compete on his home course, before his hometown friends at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler.

Recreation Renaissance Man

Ross’ public schedule is a stream of autograph signings, car dealership appearances, media interviews and spots on every cheesy radio and TV morning show in the nation sandwiched in between grueling training sessions, playing with his beloved dog and hanging out with, you know, his peer group, the ones with gold medals. Kicking back with Donavon Bailey or strolling into the NHL awards ceremony with Captain Cassie Campbell – just like its no big deal.

He’s dabbled in broadcast work like many victorious athletes and toyed with a bit of TV acting but mixes in adventure sports action with his training retinue – racing stock cars, riding dirt bikes, kite-sailing, surfing, mountain biking the technical trails and whatever else you got, … including golf.

These days, he’s set on 2010 but also keeps new adventures in mind, “Right now from here to then, 2010 is obviously my main focus, after that i’d love to race in the Paris Dakar rally race on a motor bike – that’s one of my main goals for my life.”

As for politics, the contemplative and well-spoken Ross says, “That has crossed my mind as well but I don’t think it would give me enough free time.”

Currently taking up valuable time is a “misappropriation of personality” lawsuit he filed against the producers of a gaudy TV program featuring a blond-haired, blue-eyed, goldmedal-winning snowboarder whose murder leads to uncovering a hedonistic and unsavory past. Ross says, “I’m the only former gold medal snowboarder in Whistler so yeah I think it is confusing and detrimental to my image and hurts my ability to secure sponsorships.” However, the producers say that Ross’s name never came up in the meetings and the character is purely coincidental (yeah right).

Either way, the locals know the truth that Ross is the real deal in Whistler where visitors can ski Ross’ run on Blackcomb and finish the day by sparking a doob in the Village park named in his honor.

The Message

Ross approaches the weed topic with a “been there” sigh, but he’s reluctantly aware that he’s become an unintentional role-model for the millions of weekend athletes and herbal enthusiasts who seek to balance turning on with working out. Indeed, whenever Ross’ name appears in the media, “marijuana” isn’t far behind and he is still vilified by crusty conservatives who pull out the “what kind of message does this send to the kids” rhetoric.

Turns out, contrary to the misleading rumblings, Ross sends a great message to the kids, particularly aspiring Olympians, saying, “If you have a goal to become an Olympic athlete and if you devote your life, it is definitely a obtainable thing, it is just about making the time and committing to it.”

He also sends a positive message to the community with his considerable charity work, hanging out with kids across North America and genuinely enjoying the good work. Besides actively participating in sports programs for kids with disabilities, diabetes awareness with his mom, and visiting terminally ill youth, he also does a kids day at at EA Sports where he is patiently worked over by wheelchair-bound kids playing video games. He explains, almost excitedly, “Due to their various conditions, gaming is an integral part of their lives and let me tell you, they are pros at it!”

His epic performance also sent a very powerful message to the nay-sayers like the ignorant politicos who won’t admit that responsible marijuana use in not anti-social behavior and pompous blowhard crusaders like International Olympic Committee’s dope chief, Dick Pound who struggles to differentiate between harmful, synthesized substances or damaging steroids, and non-toxic THC (which is only maybe a performance enhancing substance) and clings to the tired and unproven gateway drug rhetoric.

However, his open opinions supporting cannabis and refusal to “sell out” his toker friends raised the ire of do-gooders who sought to leverage him into an anti-herb crusader to atone for his error.

No such luck for the draconians as Ross chimes in on decriminalization, “Right now the whole idea of it being decriminalized makes the legal system function at a level that it should be functioning at and not clogging up the courts and the judicial system and even jails or whatever for something like that.”
{ref: Olympian Rebagliati urges pot decriminalization, Canadian Press, Updated: Thurs. May. 8 2003 6:18 AM ET)}

His out-spoken nature has caused problems crossing borders into USA, Europe and Australia and he still faces annoying travel restrictions when heading into the USA and required minor diplomatic intervention to facilitate his trip to watch the Games in Salt Lake City 2002.

While the excess attention caused problems crossing borders, the resultant hassle was the impetus to take a break from competitive snowboarding allowing him precious time to purse his other various interests, but now, he is back on his race board and ready to win again.

2010 – What’s it gonna take

Competing in the Olympics is a Big Deal for anyone, but a bigger deal for 38 year old (well, unless you’re 39 year old 2006 Skeleton Gold Medalist, Duff Gibson but that’s another story). Sure, sometimes you see a grey haired curler but the snowboarding circuit is dominated by spry twenty-somethings who combine the rare mix of health, motivation, skill with ability to cobble enough income to support themselves to train, travel and compete in a challenging discipline where milliseconds count and injuries are easily come by.

But first, Ross has got to make the team. There are no automatic slots on Canada’s Olympic Snowboard team – even for a gold medalist & BC Sports Hall of Famer. Instead, the egalitarian system rewards boarders for long-term amateur participation for Team Canada. Candidates must compete in prescribed events and participate in group training sessions to rise through the ranks to qualify. Which means you have to be fast and race a lot where and when they tell ya.

So what is it gonna take for Ross to make the team against guys 15 years his junior?

As part of preparing himself physically, he drink most of his meals – mixing protein powder, raw egg, blueberries, flax seed, grape nuts, banana and yogurt in a blender for breakfast and lunch and eating chicken with broccoli for dinner. That’s part of the difference between an elite snowboarder and the dude down the street who pounds a few twinkies before hitting the lifts.

Ross continues, “I’m riding every day, back on my race board running gates at Blackcomb, most days you can see me training on Jersey Cream at the Race Centre. Plus I do an extensive kick boxing routine and have a basement gym with weights and punching bags.”

Just in case he isn’t working hard enough, he worked with Sasha, a Russian conditioning coach who defected from the Army 20 years ago who Ross describes as “pretty hardcore.”

For snowboard-specific training, he hooked up with a former competitor Thedo Remilink who finished 10th in Nagano, boarding for Holland at age 35. Ross says, “Thedo and I were on the same pro team around 1996. He will be a familiar face for me as well as someone who knows my history.”

After a summer on the mountain bike and early training on Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor, he’s ready for competition in Europe this fall.

The Path Back Home

Specialized, international training isn’t cheap and must be funded by company sponsors or privately as Canada doesn’t kick down the expenses to the level of some countries where elite athletes are feted and coddled like sacred cows. Instead, Canada spreads sports funding across a wide swath of athletes rather than fully funding a few top performers,

This policy can lead to situations evidenced in Turin 2006 when independently wealthy freestyle mogul skier Dale Begg-Smith, who hails from Vancouver and train in Whistler, competed for Australia because he didn’t care to participate in the required group training procedures and risk missing out on the Games by these missing required events. Instead, he paid his way, waited his time and brought the Aussies a rare Winter Gold.

With snowboarding, the Canadian Olympic powers doesn’t fund anyone who doesn’t train with the team which causes a conundrum for someone like Ross who expects to make the team yet wishes to train with his preferred coach. No worry though, Ross insists he will compete only for Canada and is headed back to take his lumps as the cagey veteran racing against up and comers on the World Cup circuit where (back in the day) he won the European Championship plus his hometown World Cup event and was a regular in the top three.

Besides the coaching expense, until he makes Team Canada, he’s on his own to fund the $1000/week needed for the basic travel expenses for life on the circuit from plane tickets to entry fees to lift tickets for training, etc. Like a rock band scraping gas money for the tour van, he sells t-shirts, toques and other Ross paraphernalia on his website but of course, his accomplishments and high profile draw sponsor’s attention, notably iconoclastic Canadian brand, Roots. “They’ve been there for me every step,” Ross says, adding,”I lost some sponsors after the Olympics, but Roots picked up the slack.” Looks like the exposure works for Roots too who now make Olympic uniforms for several countries. Besides Roots, he shills body space for ads for googles and gear enough to keep rolling to the next race.

But don’t worry too much about the enterprising Rebagliati – after losing a pre-Olympic sponsor who was covering his mortgage payments, Ross sold his house and realized a considerable profit. He says, “A light bulb went off in my head and I realized I could continue to flip houses.” So he pulls enough flips in the hectic Whistler real estate market to keep the homefires burning and suggests, “The midnight infomercial about buying houses with no money down is true.”

Know Your Role

On his return to the circuit, he is savvy to the trials of the road in the hyper-competitive environment and the effects of the inter-personal dynamics on race results.

“Aside from the underlying stress of the financial commitments with no guarantees, there is considerable time on the road and the particular dynamic of the inner team relationships. These are the factors which, if dealt with wisely or not, contribute to either success or failure. The ‘reality TV shows’ like Big Brother and Survivor are very good examples of what life on the racing circuit is like.”

As a first to have a rare boarder pass at Blackcomb, Ross, who started as ski racer, met snowboarding at 15 and never looked back and as someone who loves the sport, and as the “not-quite grizzled” veteran teammate, he’s prepared to help other boarders cope and succeed by bringing a cooperative attitude into a competitive environment.

“I will be the veteran with all the experience. When I first started with professional teams 15 years ago, me and the others were in our early 20’s, and sometimes younger, with very limited life experience away from the comforts of home. Dealing with things about growing up along with race life on the road is a challenge for anyone, especially at that age.”

After a five year competitive hiatus, he’s gotta be realistic with his expectations though, he expects, “to make top three in at least one race and he in the finals (top 15) or better on a regular basis by mid-season. My goals will become more or less aggressive depending on where my level of riding is ay compared to the current top guns.”

His quest to be a competitor in 2010 was inspired by his involvement with bringing the games to his hometown as an unofficial ambassador for his hometown. “During the Plebasite, I did a bunch of media to get people out to vote ‘yes’ and having the Games come here has created the motivation I now have to get back on my race boards.”

The historical significance is not lost on Ross who says, “To race in the games here would be a cool thing since when I first started snowboarding here we weren’t even allowed to ride the chairlifts anywere in Canada. It’s kind of a full circle which I am proud to have been have been a part of since the beginning.”

Don’t underestimate the advantage of competing on a familiar course (let alone sleeping at home with race-day breakfast at your favorite cafe) and with his steely-eyed focus, love of boarding, healthy lifestyle and balanced demeanor, don’t bet against Rebagliati being back on top of the podium in 2010. After a few seasons back on the board, the still-distant February morning might just feel like another screaming day on the slopes for the cagey veteran.

Backstory (sidebar?)

As one of the later boarders to ride the chopped up and foggy Shiga Kogen Giant Slalom course which had claimed over a dozen DNFs on the day – Ross hurdled down the slope, pushing each turn tighter and harder and arrived at the bottom in sizzling time – moving from eighth to first and winning the Gold Medal with two hundredths of a second to spare.

From the victory celebration, the elated Ross headed back to the athlete’s village to hang out with his buddies and co-competitors. They passed his Gold Medal around and talked about the race with friendly camaraderie when the coaches walked into the room and asked everyone to leave, everyone … except for Ross who they advised to sit down.

Ross says, “They basically told me I had failed drug test but they didn’t know what for.” So he gathered the various supplements and sports drinks he’d ingested for analyzation and headed to Nagano city by bus with his backpack. When I got to Nagano, they set me up with the Head of the Canadian Olympic Association, and she explained that i had failed a test for weed.”

After 11 years training for this win, he stopped smoking in the previous April knowing testing was part game. “This was something that was part of my life for years on end leading up to that moment. We knew that it would be somewhat of an issue going into the games, and we’d gone to great lengths to educate ourselves and learn about it and to make sure it wasn’t an issue and all of a sudden, here it was right at the most crucial point of my career so it was bad news for sure. They wanted to know if I had an explanation of course I didn’t except that I’d been hanging out with people over Christmas and New Year’s and at a wake that I’d been at for a friend that I’d dedicated my winning run to.”

Suddenly statistics appeared about how much smoke would have to be in a room for the THC level to reach that point and instantly everyone was an expert on whether or not cannabis was a performance enhancing drug.

Rumors began to spread that the issue was moot as marijuana wasn’t even included as a banned substance in the agreement which added snowboarding to the Games as the International Ski Federation allows for 15ml contrary to IOC regulations permitted which permit none. Regardless, a duplicate Gold was awarded in a hastily planned ceremony trying to defray attention from the controversy.

The following morning, the ordeal continued as Ross was taken into custody by the Nagano Prefectural police who took their turn to grandstand. The local cops had managed to separate him from his RCMP escorts and Canadian Olympic Association Representatives and worked over his frazzled nerves. Ross adds, “They put me in a jail cell and interrogated me for 4-5 hours about the different things about weed. I was really starting to feel the reality of the situation because the translator could barely speak English and I didn’t even know if she was telling the chief what I was telling her.”

During that anxious, isolated time in the dark hours in jail cell, worn-out but strident, with the disputed gold medal still stuck protectively sequestered in his pocket, “They came in and told me that I’d in fact won my appeal and I could keep my medal. ” And not a moment to soon, as Ross continues, “Otherwise the Japanese police wouldn’t have let me out, they were actually pressing charges.” Tense times in a country with a 7 years jail term the norm for possession.

With the 3-2 decision, the Court of Arbitration for Sport didn’t see the issue as sharply as Ross who states emphatically, “Weed was not on the list of banned substances at the time and in my opinion the fact that they tested for it anyway was a violation of social privacy.” But with the announcement, the IOC shuffled the medals once more, with Ross back on top.

Despite the relief, Ross says, “This all started less than 24 hours after the race. I only had those hours of pure exhilaration to enjoy winning the Olympics and then it all went downhill and it’s never felt the same.”

##

Ross’ website: www.rossrebagliati.com/
Roots website: www.roots.com/new_canada/html/ath_update_RossM05.shtml

##

Bonus

Aside from the underlying stress of the financial commitments with no guarantees there is considerable time on the road and the particular dynamic of the inner team relationships. These are the factors which, if dealt with wisely or not, contribute to either success or failure. A high level of training and racing become effortless and when the social side of things is kept in check. We are constantly in a competitive atmosphere within the team during training. Whether on snow or in the gym, do to the fact that at the end of the day we all compete against each other, the atmosphere always has this element. There will always be those who deal with this better than others and it is the responsibility of each team member to do their best to either help or distance them selves to make the most of any situation. I have made my share of mistakes and positive contributions to my team over the years and from those experiences I have come to learn how I can best contribute to not only my own success but also that of my team. I will be the veteran with all the experience but when I first started with professional teams 15yrs ago I and others were in our early 20’s and sometimes younger with very limited life experience away from the comforts of home. Dealing with things about growing up along with race life on the road is a challenge for anyone, especially at that age . The ‘reality shows’ that are on TV like Big Brother and Survivor are very good examples of what life on the racing circuit is like.

My expectations for this season are to make the top three in at least one race and to be in the finals (top 15) or better on a regular basis by mid season. As this is my first full year of racing in around five seasons my goals will become more or less aggressive depending on where my level of ridding is at compared to the current top guns. The most important thing about setting goals is to set lots of small ones that can be easily accomplished that eventually lead up to ones that are not so easy.

I am involved in what seems to be countless charities of which most of them are for kids. I am involved with the special olympics, the adaptive ski and snowboard programs for kids with disabilities, ‘make a wish’ and ‘hole in the wall’ for kids with terminal illness’. The Canadian diabetes association and myself of partnering up to raise money along with my mother who has diabetes. EA Sports and I also do kids days at their headquarters which involves me gaming against some of the best in the business,(kids in wheel chairs). Due to their various conditions, gaming is an intrigal part of their lives and let me tell you,” they are pros at it!”.

As far as the weed is concerned and the ‘rumor’ I honestly don’t know and further more would’nt want to speculate one way or the other. What I do know is that weed was not on the list of banned substances at the time and in my opinion the fact that they tested for it anyway was a violation of social privacy. All snowboarders at the Nagano Olympics followed the rules.

Aside from certain travel restrictions which are still upon me with regards to the USA I have had only a small corporate fall out with at least one of my main sponsors I had going into Nagano. I would like to point out that I don’t blame the sponsors at all for there decision although it was disappointing none the less. ‘Roots’ has been there for me every step of the way and are design leaders in healthy living and lifestyle and their clothing line reflects that.

Third Coast (Chicago) Audio Contest – anyone got $45 to enter a Choogle on?

http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/competition_guidelines.asp

Best New Artist Award – $2000
This award is presented to an entrant who has entered the audio field between July, 2005 and July, 2007. To qualify, each entrant must have recorded, written and mixed his/her entry. It is permissible to have worked with an editor, as long as she/he performed in an advisory capacity only. Co-productions are not eligible in this category.
Each entrant must include a statement explaining his/her eligibility as a Best New Artist candidate. (I.E. explaining that he/she did indeed record, write and mix his/her entry.) All entries in the Best New Artist category will automatically be considered for the Best Documentary category as well.

The Third Coast Festival seeks to expand upon traditional expectations of audio documentary work. In this spirit we offer the following guidelines:

We’re looking for stories that document a place, time, person, event, phenomenon or issue. These include but are not limited to: investigative reports, narrative stories, personal essays and audio portraits. We’re interested in work with a social mission and stories that entertain. Musical and historical documentaries are welcome. Profiles and cultural snapshots are welcome. Intimate stories and narrative field recordings are welcome.

Please contact us with any questions about eligibility.

To be eligible:

  • Entries must range between 2 and 60 minutes in length.
  • Entries must have been produced and presented publicly for the first time on the radio, the Internet or in a gallery/museum between July 1st, 2005 and July 20th, 2007.
  • Entries must be produced in English.
  • Work featured at www.thirdcoastfestival.org or on Re:sound IS eligible for entry into the competition.
  • Each producer must sign the release and license agreement on the entry form, which provides the Third Coast Festival with broadcast and Internet rights to present entered work in its entirety between October 1st , 2007 and October 1st , 2008.

Additional guidelines:

  • Entries should consist of an individual documentary or feature.
  • Each documentary in a series is a separate entry.
  • Each feature within a program that presents multiple pieces is a separate entry.

Podcast entries:

  • Podcast entries must have been originally presented as podcasts, not as radio programs.
  • Each episode from a podcast is a separate entry.

The Way Home (Forever will i see you more) ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #10

With scant days to go, Uncle Weed reflects on expectations, better realized – plus shares affection for kind people, the important of finding authenticity and supporting local economy– all while embarking on final steps before leaving, including: visiting Mr. Lawrence, the lifeguard; packing up jerk spice and mango chutney; detailing the geometric woodwork in the Queen’s Cottage’s roof; plus mops up a few stories, chats about PM Michael Manley’s Canadian ties, and dives into the sea… before saying good-bye to the Jamaican people by celebrating optimism about the free island’s place in the world.

Last time for everything in The Way Home (Forever will i see you more) ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #10 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 28:18)

The Way Home (Forever will i see you more)

Music Snippets:

Pressure Drop, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Love Fever, Roy Rayon
Bam Bam, Toots Hibbert
Sun is Shining, Bob Marley and the Wailers

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appears on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading The Way Home (Forever will i see you more) ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #10

Cultural Field Notes For Ramblers ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #9

After more banter about lobsters, reggae and food, Uncle Weed offers observations about music industry, taxi drivers, civic pride, pothole filling, corrupt government and cynicism, devalued currency, human potential, news of the day, Patois remix, ninja squirrel mongoose, Rasta culture, fireflies, coconuts, kids doing homework, bats catching mosquitos, meaning of goats, donkeys strolling, swimming (or lack thereof), varieties of crabs, Prime Minsterial hijinks, calling elections, cruise ships, markets, churches, and Jamaica-Canada connections.

Notebooks and pencils ready for Cultural Field Notes For Ramblers ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #9 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 42:00)

“Mongooses are like ninja squirrels – stealth, rat-eating machines. They kinda look like squirrels but squirrels are gentle, nut-eating creatures and mongooses (mongeese) are feared sniper killers.”

Cultural Field Notes For Ramblers

Music Snippets: 

Dance Dis Ya Festival by Freddie McKay

Boom Shaka Laka by Hopeton Lewis

Give Thanks and Praises, by Ray Rayon

Play Di Music by Tinga Stewart

Proud to Be Jamaican by Eric Donaldson

Stop and Go by Unknown

Cherry Oh Baby by Eric Donaldson

Land of my Birth by Eric Donaldson

Come Sing with Me by Stanley and the Turbine

Sweet Jamaica by Eric Donaldson

Jump in the Line by Marvin Brooks

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appears on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading Cultural Field Notes For Ramblers ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #9

Fresh Washington State Cannabis Education – Choogle On #120

Visiting pal Hemp Ed in Pe Ell, Washington, Uncle Weed gets up to date on the emerging and ambiguous regulatory framework for production, distribution and retailing of cannabis in the aftermath of Washington Initiative 502. Plus conversation on the state of industrial hemp, small scale growing operations, the impact of state-imported weed, and the role of the Liquor Control Board as arbiter – while smoking a joint in his medical experiment facility next to a cedar sauna.

Change the Law with Fresh Washington State Cannabis Education – Choogle On #120

Fresh Washington State Cannabis Education

Continue reading Fresh Washington State Cannabis Education – Choogle On #120

Jerk Grilling Master Class ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #8

Friend Nadine banters with Uncle Weed about Jamaica’s national dishes and alias nicknames before gamely sharing her techniques for the unofficial people’s favourite “jerk” along with a real-time example of a pork shoulder sizzling on a – ubiquitous and rugged – gas-can grill while sharing her tips for choosing the right cut and combinations of dry and wet spice concoctions.

Fire up the charcoal for Jerk Grilling Master Class ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #8 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 11:16)

Jerk Grilling Master Class ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #8

Music Snippets: 

“Sweet and Dandy ” by Toots Hibbert

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appears on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading Jerk Grilling Master Class ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #8

Market Day and Lobster Man ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #7

Sparking a morning joint, Uncle Weed recounts a skiff boat reef trip with Harold, acquiring lobster from John Wesley – member of The Silverlights – house band of Leroy’s bar, breaks down lobster physiology, discusses geo-cultural differences between parishes & regions, reviews of recent meals of skipjack and coconut chicken lobster, and takes a stereo sound-seeing tour deep into a hectic farmer’s and bric brac market in Falmouth complete with machine gun teenagers and butchers with hatchets, hacksaws and hammers.

Fill your belly with Market Day and Lobster Man  ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #7 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 26:02)

Market Day and Lobster Man  ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #7

Music Snippets: 

“I’ll Never you Leave You Again” by Ras Karbi

“Jamaica, Land We Love” by Unknown

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appears on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading Market Day and Lobster Man ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #7

Wasp Bite Feverish Dreams ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #6

Recollections from a wasp poison haze including fleeting messages delivered by film strip, endless fortune cookies and fuzzy memories from forgotten incidents. Plus the backstory about Leo of Little Bay and details of his colourful cabins, banter and rum on the tiny store’s porch with Brodie, plus tales of bonfire ganja mechanics, fortified brownies, chillcuzi soak, cut foot and aloe vera, amidst the chirps and croaks of frogs and crickets.

Sit upon a pedestal for Cabin Dreams in Little Bay ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #5 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 27:52)

Wasp Bite Feverish Dreams

Music Snippet: Toots Hibbert “Pomps and Pride” & Sma Carty “No Wey No Betta Dan Yard”

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appeared on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading Wasp Bite Feverish Dreams ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #6

Cabin Dreams on Little Bay ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #5

Now from the north side of Jamaica at Queen’s Cottage, Uncle Weed recounts the aftermath of a wasp bite with recollections from 3 days in a daze including time with Leo of Little Bay, ganja trips with Fire and Foot, kayak to Bob Marley’s swimming hole, and waking dreams with crickets and frogs soundtrack whilst surviving minor storms, enjoying aloe vera rubdowns, grabbing gossamer plotlines, and notes about food callioou, aki and salt fish, plantains, jerk chicken plus various observations of renegades catching the dream, growing roots and sharing adventures.

Dive into the hole for Cabin Dreams in Little Bay ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #5 (.mp3, stereo, 128kbps, 42:45)

Cabin Dreams in Little Bay

Music Snippet: Bob Marley “Keep on Moving” and Desmond Dekker “Intensified”

Bonus: 

Map of Little Bay

Photo Gallery

Little Bay Cabins Facebook 

Little Bay Cabins web

Zimbali Retreat

Also appeared on Dopefiend podcast network

Continue reading Cabin Dreams on Little Bay ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #5