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.
On Sunday, July 7 at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern beginning at 5 p.m. Verrier will be speaking and reading from the new biography, as well as signing copies of the book that will be for sale at the event.
“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 2019. “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.”
Kiniski’s accomplishments in the ring and signature style were loved by generations of wrestling fans who remember him as “Canada’s 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 British Columbia.
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.
Verrier’s 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 and Kelly will MC the July 7 event with James Cybulski from Sportsnet 650AM Vancouver and sharing stories as well as family memorabilia never seen by the general public.
Kiniski’s Reef Tavern is open to all ages and food and beverages are available. Admission to the event is free.