American bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer was detained and released by Canadian police, a U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman said Thursday. The 36-year-old pushman was not arrested and is expected to compete in the start of the four-man bobsled competition on Friday.
A person with direct knowledge of the incident told the Associated Press that Schuffenhauer had been arguing with his fiancee, Ruthann Savage. Police questioned Schuffenhauer after the argument, but it was determined that no crime had been committed.
Canadian police declined comment because of privacy laws.
Schuffenhauer's path to the Winter Games was an unlikely one, CNN reports: He grew up with drug-addicted parents and often found himself homeless and scrounging for food out of trash cans. For a time, he was locked up in juvenile detention for breaking into a bicycle repair shop to find something to sell for food money. (The shop later helped Schuffenhauer raise money to support his Olympic goal.)
He says he was saved by his maternal grandmother, who moved him to Roy, Utah, in junior high. There, Schuffenhauer began to concentrate on school and sports, becoming a nationally ranked sprinter. Injuries slowed him down, though, and he was forced to give up his dream of qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Then Shuffenhauer discovered bobsled. Two years later, he was tabbed as an alternate for the Salt Lake City Olympics and, owing to a stroke of luck, was called for duty. His team won a silver medal.
This is Schuffenhauer's third Olympics. He has kept with the sport through three Games despite the fact that the sport barely provides enough income to pay the mortgage and car payments for himself and his fiancee and son.
His sled is driven by Mike Kohn. The team is not expected to medal in Vancouver.