A lot has changed since Ross Rebagliati’s legendary performance at the 1998 Winter Olympics. After winning gold for Canada in the first-ever Olympic snowboarding event, the Vancouver-born athlete was then stripped of his medal when he tested positive for THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. An appeal resulted in the return of Rebagliati’s medal (marijuana wasn’t on the banned-substance list at the time), while people around the world wondered how someone even stays upright while flying down a mountain on a thin wooden plank stoned.
Fast-forward to today and the idea of pot as a performance enhancer is no longer a joke. Superstars such as MMA’s Nick and Nate Diaz, NFL legend Randy Moss and two-time Cy Young-winner and World Series champion Tim Lincecum are but a few of the athletes who’ve reached the pinnacle of their respective sports while indulging in marijuana, according to media reports on ESPN and elsewhere. Did smoking dope give them an edge on their competition? One thing’s for sure – it didn’t turn them into proverbial pothead slackers.