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Canadian rugby team waits out winter storm, uses Twitter to send out SOS

02/02/2015 08:45 EST | Updated 04/04/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Stranded by a winter storm, the Canadian women's rugby sevens team sent out an SOS to Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, Arlene Dickinson and Prime Minister Stephen Harper among others.

How about lending us your private jet?

The tweets were just in jest, a way to help pass the time in Vancouver after their flight to Chicago, the next stop en route to a weekend tournament in Brazil, was cancelled Sunday.

Captain Jen Kish tweeted "Hey @justinbieber Can we use ur private jet? We need to get to Brazil. #SOS" along with a picture of sad teammates sitting on the airport floor.

Dickinson, an entrepreneur known for her appearances on "Dragons' Den" did get back to them. Unfortunately she doesn't have a private jet but she tweeted out her own appeal for travel help to two of her TV show colleagues as well as her 123,000 followers.

The women left Victoria at 6 a.m. Sunday, cleared U.S. Customs in Vancouver and made it onto their noon flight to Chicago, only to learn O'Hare had been shut down by the storm.

The 18-person group got off the plane and went through Canadian Customs "with nothing to declare, except that we're going nowhere for a day or two," coach John Tait said Monday evening.

The team was supposed to land in Sao Paulo on Monday afternoon. Instead they are slated to leave Vancouver at 7:30 a.m. local time Tuesday for Houston and then Miami, with an overnight stay before heading to Brazil

Tait reckons the reduced advance party of 12 players and two coaches will arrive at their Brazilian hotel early Thursday morning.

On the plus side, Tait managed to sneak in a workout for his team at the Richmond Oval on Monday.

It's hardly ideal but the women are used to long journeys and delays.

"It's a good test for us just to keep composure," said Tait. "I told the team today there's no point in stressing out about it, it's out of our control. We'll get there when we get there.

"The team's well-prepared and pretty confident ... They're a pretty resilient group."

Ashley Steacy, a player from Lethbridge, Alta., was keeping her cool at the team hotel.

"There's no point in worrying ... As soon as get there, we're going to put game faces on and play and do what we need to do to perform and play the best we can," she said cheerfully.

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