Bobsledder's family having lost money returned
Bilked out of more than $7,300 in a Vancouver Olympic home rental scam, U.S. bobsledder Steve Mesler's family and friends are getting their money back.
Procter & Gamble said Thursday it will cover the group's losses, a gesture that Mesler said left him and his family ``overwhelmed.''
``The Olympics move people,'' said Mesler, a push athlete for the reigning four-man world and World Cup championship sled from the U.S. ``That's the bottom line. I've thought that since I was a kid.''
Ben and Lois Mesler tried to rent a house for their 11-person party in Whistler, British Columbia, where the bobsled events will be held, from someone who responded to an ad they posted on a Web site. They found out last week the deal was not legitimate, and have since found other places to stay free of charge, offered by strangers who heard about the situation.
Canadian police are investigating.
The story got attention through print and then radio reports in the Vancouver area earlier this week, and eventually crossed the desk of Procter and Gamble external relations manager Cheri McMaster, who called Lois Mesler with Thursday's news.
McMaster said Lois Mesler was ``taken back by the gesture.''
``We work very closely with the U.S. Olympic Committee and we heard some news early on through some of the Canadian press,'' McMaster said. ``They needed some help. ... It brings the feeling of the Olympic Games to life knowing that we're helping somebody.''
Mesler's team will be among the gold-medal favorites at the Vancouver Games. He was an alternate on the 2002 Olympic team and was part of a seventh-place finish in four-man at the 2006 Turin Games.