Tuesday, February 21, 2006

If You Steal Someone's Wallet, Make Sure She's Not an Olympic Athlete

Hockey player runs down pickpocket

TURIN, Italy -- Gina Kingsbury is as fast on her feet as she is on her skates, especially when her wallet is stolen.

The 24-year-old forward on the Canadian women's hockey team ran down a pickpocket who took her wallet while she was shopping with her mother in downtown Turin late in the first week of the Games.

After buying souvenirs at an Olympic merchandise store, Kingsbury and her mother Marlise stopped at a pizza place and Kingsbury was placing her order at the window when the woman serving her started yelling and pointing.

A man who had been standing behind her started running away.

"It just clicked that he had my wallet and I didn't hesitate," Kingsbury said.

The 5-ft.-8, 137-lb. forward chased the culprit about 40 metres with Marlise running behind her loaded down with shopping bags.

"I caught up to him pretty quick and put my hand on his shoulder and as I turned him he right away gave me my wallet back because I don't think he wanted the public to see," Kingsbury said.

"I was so stunned that I had my wallet, that I didn't look at him, didn't say anything, I just grabbed my wallet and walked away. I don't know what I would have done if he didn't give me my wallet."

Kingsbury is relied on for her penalty killing and forechecking abilities on the Canadian team, which plays for gold today, so those skills came in handy.


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