Commonwealth Games star reunited with £7k wheelchair that was lost at airport

A Scottish wheelchair basketball star was left relieved after her wheelchair, which was lost at East Midlands Airport, was found ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Jess Whyte had lost her £7,000 wheelchair, which is essential to her participation in the Commonwealth Games. Whyte had travelled to Amsterdam, with the rest of the Scottish team, for a tournament ahead of the games that are being held in Birmingham.

After landing in Birmingham, Whyte discovered her chair had been lost in transit. She told the BBC: "The timing just could not have been worse. I'm due in the athlete's village tomorrow, and I don't have a chair."

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She added: "It means I can't train properly with my team, which makes it harder for them to prepare.

"I still have my old chair, but this one is completely different – it took two months to have it custom built.

"The height, the support, it is specifically for me, and a different chair would affect not only my performance but my safety as well."

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But luck was on the Scottish star as the airline managed to trace the missing frame, and reunited it with Whyte, allowing her to participate in the games.

Her team-mate, Robyn Love, tweeted: "Found! Thank you to everyone who shared, reached out, picked up the phone! We felt the love today and we will carry it into the Games with us. Thank you to @EMA_Airport & Swissport for locating it – it’s stressful/busy times & we appreciate the immense effort!"

Love had initially tweeted a plea for any help locating the chair after it was first reported missing.

The Commonwealth Games kick off on Thursday as 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories are set to compete in 19 sports – that will see 20 medals awarded – over 11 days.

The first gold medal will be handed out on Friday, following Thursday's opening ceremony, in the men's and women's sprint triathlon.


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