Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Lost and Found Again: The True Life Saga of Team Yukon's Pins

While en route to Greenland, Team Yukon chef de mission Trevor T had his luggage--including boxes of pins--stolen in Washington.

The pins were later found (at a bus stop) and returned (to the team in Greenland, where they were eagerly traded). We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Pat and his wife Kelly for finding the pins and working so hard to get them back to us. This is what the Games are all about: cross-cultural connections and new friendships.

Here's Pat's story ...

Due to the fact that I'm losing my eyesight and can no longer drive, I commute by bus each day. One night while waiting for my bus, I noticed a bunch of small packages sitting on a bench and a few scattered on the ground under and around the bench. The package was surprisingly heavy and looking through the plastic, I could barely make out what appeared to be bits of metal. I decided to take them home and turn them in to the Bellevue Police Department the next day. However, when I got them home and could look at them in a better light, my wife and I were able to see more detail through the plastic pouches and we found some cards with pins attached in a zip-lock bag. It was at this point that I became fairly certain that the pins were stolen and not just accidentally forgotten at the bus stop.

My wife Kelly got on her computer and started Googling various pieces of information we gleaned from the pins and the cards the pins were attached to. We were able to determine that the pins had something to do with the Arctic Winter Games, Team Yukon and Nuuk, Greenland. Due to the late hour, the fact we were both really tired, and the time difference between us and Greenland, we decided to just send some emails to some of the names on the various websites and go to bed. We pretty much abandoned the idea of turning them over to the Bellevue Police because we figured they'd just let them sit in some evidence room until they got around to looking for the owners, well after the Games were over.

The next morning, my wife found a reply to one of her emails and I found what I suspected to be the manufacturer’s phone number on one of the packets and decided to call it. The individual that answered the phone seemed very confused (understandably so) as to what we were talking about. I found some "production numbers" on stickers attached to various packets and she was able to trace the pins to your organization. She told us that she'd do some checking and call us back. A short time later, we received a return phone call, confirming that they'd been indeed stolen from the luggage of a representative of your government's sports organization (Trevor).

After discussing the situation with the company's representatives, we decided to mail the packages to a location at an airport in Canada, where a lot of the equipment for the games was being collected to be flown to Greenland. Kelly followed the progress of the package by its tracking number and we were relieved that it finally arrived at its assigned destination. However, being the worry wart that I am and knowing that the pins were time critical, I wanted to call to make sure that the pins indeed got into the hands of the team organizers. It was a relief to find out that everything went as it should and the pins were in their rightful hands.

As I said earlier, we feel very fortunate to have been able to help and for being made aware of the Games. They're a fantastic idea and we enjoyed following them. We were cheering for the Canadians, especially Team Yukon. (Sorry Alaska). My wife and I are bouncing around the idea of saving some money to go to the 2018 Games. (Don't know what it costs to fly up there from SeaTac, but we suspect it won't be cheap).