CANADA: Upcoming event to celebrate wrestler Gene Kiniski (The Northern Light)

Posted on 7/04/119 by Mike Informer

Upcoming event to celebrate wrestler Gene Kiniski

By Meg Olson

Fans, friends and family of legendary wrestler Gene Kiniski
will gather this summer to share stories and memorabilia
from his tremendous life, recently captured in a new
biography by Steven Verrier.

Verrier will be speaking and reading from the new biography,
as well as signing copies of the book, on Sunday, July 7 at
Kiniskis Reef Tavern in Point Roberts beginning at 5 p.m.

I had no idea what a complex character Gene Kiniski was and
what an impact he had on so many people, said Verrier,
whose book Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend was
released in January. I aimed to tell the story of Kiniski,
his complexities, his era and his setting in a way that
satisfies a broad readership. Kiniski was much more than a
wrestler, and his biography aims to be much more than a
wrestling book.

Kiniskis accomplishments in the ring and signature style
were loved by generations of wrestling fans who remember him
as Canadas Greatest Athlete. He was a leading wrestler
for a quarter century, with three years as National
Wrestling Alliance champion. He was also the co-owner of a
wrestling promotion company in B.C.

Kiniski also played professional football with the Edmonton
Eskimos and had a few stints on the silver screen, most
notably in the cult classic Terminal City Ricochet.

Verriers book draws from interviews with people who knew
Kiniski in and out of the ring, including his sons Kelly and
Nick Kiniski, and his many friends who knew him from his
retirement years in Blaine and Point Roberts. I joke with
Steve he knew my dad better than I did, Nick Kiniski said.

Nick Kiniski has always been the owner of Kiniskis Reef
Tavern where the July 7 event will be taking place. A lot
of people thought Gene was the owner because he was such a
visible presence there, said Verrier. Until his passing in
2010, Gene Kiniski was active at Kiniskis Reef Tavern,
bartending and helping out. He enjoyed getting out and
meeting people, said Verrier.

According to Verrier, Gene Kiniski also had a deep
connection to Blaine, settling in Blaine in the late
sixties. Although he would cross the border almost daily to
do his work, Blaine was his home, said Verrier. From the
late sixties until he passed away in 2010, his home was
Blaine, although people often associated him with the
Canadian side of the border.

The family built a house in Blaine in the early 1970s, and
Gene Kiniski made many friends in town by offering people
support when they needed it. He made a lot of friends here
and influenced a lot of people, said Verrier.

Nick and Kelly Kiniski will MC the July 7 event with James
Cybulski from Sportsnet 650AM Vancouver and will be sharing
stories as well as family memorabilia never seen by the
general public. Kiniskis Reef Tavern is open to all ages
and food and beverages are available. Admission to the event
is free.

Verrier said that he is trying to put together a similar
event for Blaine, but the plans are not yet finalized.
Thats really a place where wed like to have an event, he
said, adding that he will also be visiting Alberta this
summer to discuss his new book.

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