WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — A Westminster three-time cancer survivor’s chance to compete in her second Iron Man World Championship is in jeopardy after she checked her bags on a Southwest Airlines trip.
Nicki Leo told the FOX31 Problem Solvers that training and competing in Iron Man triathlons is what makes her feel alive. She doesn’t take that feeling for granted. Just a few months ago, she beat cancer for a third time.
Leo is currently training for an Iron Man next month and her second Iron Man World Championships in April. However, that’s now all in jeopardy after flying with Southwest on Sunday.
After landing from her triathlon training trip in Denver, she saw her special bike traveling bag ripped to shreds at baggage claim.
“I saw the bike pop through the bag and there was no handlebars, there was no computer, there was no electronics,” Leo said. “All the electronics were pulled out and because it is carbon, it has been deemed unrideable. It’s not safe to ride.”
Inside the bag, her bike was wrapped with 90 feet of bubble wrap.
Her estimated losses come to $11,772, but she said Southwest responded to her claim and paperwork with a $250 travel voucher.
“It may just be a bike to them, another thing that they are just offloading, but there are stories behind these items. Everything that they touch has a story,” Leo said. “It is not just a bike, it’s a symbol for me of not staying in bed every day, being depressed about some of the cards that I was dealt in life.”
In addition to the $11,722 losses, Leo said her hotels and fees for the two upcoming Iron man competitions are non-refundable.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to Southwest multiple times Thursday. We are still waiting for a response.