Vernon Olympian raising funds with Super Bowl winner Gronk

A four-time Super Bowl winner will share a stage with a Vernon Olympian.

Rob Gronkowski and former Big Air World Champion Elena Gaskell will also be inspiring guests at the 28th annual RBC JCC Sports Dinner fundraiser Tuesday, March 28, in Vancouver.

Gaskell, who made the Beijing 2022 Olympics for freestyle skiing but had her experience cut short due to injury, will be hosting a table, taking photos with more than 600 guests, and helping raise funds at the Vancouver event.

“It’s such an honour to join this group of champions,” said Gaskell. “How many Canadian athletes can say they’ve shared a stage with Gronk?”

Gaskell’s career highlights include being named 2018 to 2019 Big Air World Champion, a first at the 2018 Cadrona Big Air World Cup, and a third place at the 2020 Italy Slopestyle World Cup.

In addition to keynote speaker Gronkowski, Gaskell will be joined at the event by fellow Olympians including gold medal-winning bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps (Pyeongchang 2018) and national snowboard racing champion Darren Gardner.

The annual fundraiser enables Jewish Community Centre scholarships and programs for members of the community who wouldn’t otherwise have access.

The event’s theme, ‘where champions come to give back,’ resonates with Gaskell.

“The best advice I ever received about being a champion is that you might not always feel like one, or see yourself as one, but others do, and they look up to you,” said Gaskell, who captured freestyle skiing’s Crystal Globe in 2018. “This is a mindset I try to follow when times are tough, like they were for me when I got hurt in Beijing, and something I would share with anyone working with athletes at the community level. Being a champion can be a force for good.

“There is no champion without a community, and I certainly appreciate the community of supporters I have in Vernon,” said Gaskell. “I believe a big part of being a champion is using your role or success to positively impact those around you, which is one of the reasons I was so happy to be selected from athletes across the country to be a part of this event.”

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