Figure skater Ashley Wagner has a big task to accomplish this week. Along with U.S. teammate Gracie Gold, she has to place high enough to qualify the United States for three spots for next year's Olympics.
But it will be tough for her to do without her ice skates.
Wagner's skates were lost by the airline on the way to London, Ontario for the world championships on Tuesday morning. They were in her checked luggage, and with all of the traveling she's done as an elite skater for five years, her bags have never been lost. She now has to wait for the airlines to find her bag, and is trying to remain calm.
"OK, I don't have my skates. I have to relax a little bit. It makes me take a step back and realize it's just skating. It's an event, it's a huge event, but I'll do better that way," Wagner said to USA Today.
She tweeted that fellow skaters have given her workout clothes to wear.
— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) March 12, 2013
Figure skates are specially fitted to their wearer. Borrowing a pair or running to a sporting goods stores to pick up some new skates could lead to blistering or injuries, which is not what Wagner needs heading into worlds.
While the Transportation Security Administration does allow skates on carry-on luggage, Wagner's never had trouble checking her baggage before. It can make you forget that bags do get mishandled by airlines everyday.
Though she has a practice scheduled for Tuesday night, she doesn't compete until Thursday. Hopefully, Wagner will get her skates by then.
UPDATE: Huzzah! The skates have been found. Nancy Armour of the Associated Press reports: