François Hamelin’s custom speed skates return from their own adventure

François Hamelin’s custom speed skates return from their own adventure

Francois Hamelin from Canada, left, moves ahead of Shi Jingnan from China during the men’s 1000m final race at the ISU World Cup short-track speedskating competition in Montreal on October 31, 2015. Short-track speed skater Francois Hamelin’s lost skates have been found. Hamelin has been desperate to get his custom-made skate boots back after he left them in the overhead compartment on a plane at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — Short-track speed skater François Hamelin’s lost skates have been found.

Hamelin has been desperate to get his custom-made skate boots back after he left them in the overhead compartment on a plane at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

On Friday, his 29th birthday, he was informed that the bag containing his skates had been tracked down in London. They are to be returned Saturday or Sunday, he said on social media.

“My wish has come true,” wrote Hamelin, of Ste-Julie, Que. “Thanks to Air Canada for taking this situation seriously.

“My birthday has taken a turn for the better. I will greet my wife at home with a big smile.”

Hamelin, a relay gold medallist at the 2010 Winter Olympics, forgot the bag as he left the plane on Monday when the team returned from two World Cup meets in Asia.

He realized his mistake in the terminal, but security guards would not let him go back on the plane to get it and refused to go find it for him. Then followed a few frantic days in which he said he was “freaking out” as Air Canada tried to trace the bag.

He used an old pair of skate boots in training this week.

Hamelin had posted his first victory in an individual World Cup event in Japan but then suffered a concussion in a crash in Shanghai.

He is the younger brother of three-time Olympic gold medallist Charles Hamelin.

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