Mr. Kiniski

I used to have a weekly column in the Powell River Peak and I’d write about all kinds of things. Kind of like here.

One day I was sitting in the pub listening to the guy next to me talk about how 1950s/60s wrestling bad guy Gene Kiniski used to bill himself as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” I thought that was great, and figuring it might make a fun column, I somehow tracked down Kiniski’s phone number and gave him a call.

He answered the phone as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” Yes he did. It was awesome.

He was also a terrific guy on the phone, full of fun and laughter, and seemed just a nice, humble fellow, one who had adopted the villain and “Canada’s Greatest Athlete” schtick a long time ago when he was bashing heads, throwing chairs out of rings, and pissing fans off as a way of supporting his family.

For every saintly Whipper Billy Watson, there had to be a Gene Kiniski to stomp and growl.

He asked me to send a clipping of the column, which I did, and he sent these back.

Gene Kiniski died in 2010. Three years ago we lost Canada’s Greatest Athlete.



2 thoughts on “Mr. Kiniski”

  1. Ahhh, the glory days of wrestling…

    Back when it was real.

    Much more real than the NHL has become under Mr. Buttman.

  2. Hey Dennis, Canada’s Greatest Athlete came to Gold River a couple of times to wrestle in the elementary school gym,was a hoot to watch.We kids all thought everything was serious business,no fake shit at all, it was still great entertainment.

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