A Canadian skeleton racer has been reunited with his $15,000 sled just in time for an Olympic qualifier event after it was temporarily lost by an airline.
Evan Neufeldt told CTV Saskatoon that he took an Air Canada flight on Friday, from Saskatoon to St. Moritz, Switzerland, to compete for a spot at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Although he arrived safely in Switzerland, his sled did not.
The Saskatoon native is vying for the Canadian slot in the skeleton racing competition at the Games.
Without his custom sled, the 30-year-old athlete said he had to borrow sleds from other competitors for practice runs this week.
“[Track] corners change a lot so extra practice time here is paramount,” Neufeldt said. “I’m now cut a little bit short but I’m going to have a blast. I’m going to try and stay positive and crush some competition while I’m at it.”
After a detour to Toronto, Neufeldt’s sled finally arrived in Switzerland early Tuesday morning. Thankfully, he was reunited with his sled just in time for the competition, which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
The aspiring Olympian thanked Air Canada for tracking his sled down in a tweet.
“Hi Air Canada! You did great work getting my sled to me! I am a kid in a candy shop. Thank you!” Neufeldt wrote.
The airline responded to Neufeldt’s message with a tweet of its own.
“Hello Evan, we’re glad to hear that our Priority Tracing team was able to have you reunited with your sled in time for the competition. Best of luck!” Air Canada said.
Neufeldt said he has three more races to try and secure a spot at the Winter Olympics. The top three qualifying nations each send three racers to the Olympics. Canada is currently placed third heading into the qualifiers.
“The games are anybody’s bet still,” he said. “There are six of us vying for three spots. Two of those spots have been claimed. The last spot is up in the air. We’ve got a month left.”
With a report from CTV Saskatoon’s Blair Farthing