Stranded Olympian relieved after passports recovered in Spain

Hayden Wilde after winning the bronze medal for the Men's Individual Triathlon on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Getty Images
Hayden Wilde after winning the bronze medal for the Men's Individual Triathlon on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Getty Images
Stranded Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde faced an additional nightmare after he was the victim of a smash and grab raid in Spain.

The Kiwi triathlete's attempts to return home are being thwarted by bad luck in the MIQ lottery and he was almost left without a passport before a good Samaritan - or maybe a big-hearted thief - saved the day.

Wilde and girlfriend Hanne De Vet, a Belgian triathlete, were sightseeing in Barcelona when the back window of their rental car was smashed in.

Athletics gear including bikes remained but their initial relief turned to despair on reaching home in Girona when they discovered valuables and laptops hidden under seats were missing.

Miraculously, their passports were handed into a Barcelona police station, leaving them thankful for a not-so-small mercy.

"It was pretty gutting but at least we got our passports back which is pretty cool," the 24-year-old Wilde told Newstalk ZB.

"And while I never buy car insurance, this time I had put some on it so we get to claim on the smashed glass."

Wilde is in a tricky spot because his European visas run out in a few weeks.

His options include trying to join the Australian quarantine system then staying with his brother near Melbourne under travel bubble restrictions, or joining a friend in Thailand.

But his planned return to New Zealand for a short break before starting Commonwealth Games preparations is under threat.

"Europe will want to kick me out at some point - I'm hoping to get a quarantine spot before it happens," he said.

"I don't think any country wants me to stay in their area. It is getting very interesting … the crunch time."

 

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