Canadian-born ski cross athlete Dave Duncan has sat down with reporters to set the record straight about the incident in which he, his wife, and Willy Raine were arrested for a car theft during the South Korea 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.
In a CBC Sports interview, Duncan has broken his silence about the saga that hit global headlines as the Olympics were drawing to a close. The 36-year-old athlete had some surprising facts to share about the circumstances around what the media would later dub a ‘drunken joyride’ in a stolen vehicle.
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Incident Blown Out of Proportion
According to him, the incident obviously took place in a setting that allowed it to be blown out of proportion. On February 24, the second-last day of the Winter Games, Duncan and his wife, Maya, were slapped with a hefty fine of 1 million South Korean Won (approximately $1,176) for playing roles in the reported theft of a red Hummer.
Willy Raine, Alpine Canada’s ski cross high performance director, got an even larger fine of $5 million won for both driving the stolen car and doing so with a blood alcohol limit of 0.16 – well above the local limit of 0.05 and the Canadian limit of 0.08.
The three Olympic attendees spend 24 hours in a jail cell and were not able to participate in the closing ceremony. The situation was painted by many to be a blight on Canada’s long-time historical performances at the Winter Olympic games.
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Trio Found Driving a Stolen Car
However, Duncan – who has also announced his retirement – has explained that he, his wife and Raine had no idea that they had even ‘stolen’ the vehicle in the first place. According to the athlete, a group of Canadian ski crossers were celebrating their achievements at a local bar’s private room when a driver with International Olympic Committee credentials joined them.
He showed the group these credentials, saying that he was a big fan and offering them a ride home. If they wanted to take him up on the offer, he reportedly said, they need simply get in touch with him. They admit to finding the man at around midnight and asking for a lift.
From there, Duncan says that the man escorted them to the Hummer, they got in, and he led them to believe that they could take the car and leave it at the Athletes’ Village for collection the following day. In his mind, there was no reason not to trust him, and the trio dropped made their way home – but did not arrive before being pulled over by the police. It was only then that they were informed that the vehicle was stolen.
Soon after the incident, the Duncans issued an apology apologizing profusely for showing ‘poor judgement’ that was not up to the standards of the Canadian Olympic team. Dave Duncan has also admitted that it has been a long road reconciling what happened that night.
Dave Duncan and wife, Maya
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