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Waterloo woman preps for bobsled world championships after switching careers


A Waterloo woman will be representing Team Canada in Winterberg, Germany at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships.

Alex Klein will be competing on March 1, alongside her teammate Melissa Lotholz.

Klein talked to CTV News Thursday about the unusual twists and turns in her journey to the international stage.

Basketball life

The 29-year-old began playing basketball at the age of four.

“Basically my whole life I played,” Klein joked.

She had a successful NCAA division one career in the U.S. and one season of pro ball in Europe.

Alex Klein in a promotional photo during her time as a basketball player. (Source: Alex Klein)

Then, in 2018, she got sick.

Klein was eventually diagnosed with colitis, an autoimmune disease.

“At the time they thought it was Crohn’s Disease,” she said.

Klein’s health condition inspired her to reach out to other women going through the same experience, through her own website.

“Once that happened that became my full priority, and it sparked a passion for helping other women in the wellness world too, and just staying on top of my own health,” she said.

Klein was ready to hang up the competitive towel.

Then she met the physiotherapist for Canada’s National Bobsleigh team who inspired her to try the sport.

She said going from an endurance sport to bobsledding was a big jump.

“I was used to 40 minutes of longevity and having good cardio and things like that, and bobsleigh is totally different. Its power oriented – zero to 100 as fast as you possibly can.”

Photo provided by Alex Klein.

Track to world championships

Klein, a brakeman, and Lotholz, her pilot, made it to the world championships – an effort that was completely self-funded. They estimate the cost will be about $80,000. The pair paid for some of it with money they got through donations, donors and sponsorships.

“Covering sled rentals, transportation, accommodation, food, flights. It’s insane. We had to pay for ice time. It is a very expensive sport,” Klein said.

Alex Klein and Melissa Lotholz for Team Canada. (Source: Alex Klein)

Both are hoping to raise even more money to help pay the bills.

We have a GoFundMe started to help push us, to keep going as world champs and be able to not live in a box out here in Winterberg, Germany,” she said.

Klein hopes the next track will lead her to the winter Olympics. Top Stories

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