Calgary skates to rescue of coach

MICHAEL PLATT -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

A thief may have run off with his wallet, but Italian figure skating coach Walter Cecconi says Calgary has stolen his heart.

Italy's skating boss said he was left spinning by Calgary's outpouring of generosity and sympathy, after the story of his $3,020 loss to a wallet-swiping crook was reported in yesterday's Sun.

"I feel very much better and I have met lots of kind people," he said.

Cecconi was robbed while shopping for souvenirs at Lammle's western store on Stephen Avenue. A thief -- believed to be a well-dressed man seen rushing from the store -- nabbed Cecconi's wallet from his coat, which he'd taken off.

The theft of money meant for the team's food and medical expenses left Cecconi shaken and upset -- but not for long.

Faster than a triple Axel, Calgarians jumped to the aid of the team, and by early afternoon, more than $7,000 had been raised, along with a dinner and apology from the mayor.

The extra money raised will go to the Alberta Children's Hospital.


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