Now USA Luge is trying to get them back, and needs the public's help.
Team marketing director Gordy Sheer said Thursday he was returning to his hotel after working at an eastern Pennsylvania ski resort last week when five sleds fell out the back of the truck. They were gone by the time he realized what had happened.
State police said a man in a black truck was seen picking up the sleds and driving off with them. Sheer, a 1998 Olympic silver medallist in doubles, said he doesn't think the man had any criminal intent, but simply found the sleds and decided to hold on to them.
The training sleds cost US$400 to $600 a piece.
"I truly don't believe that anyone maliciously stole it," Sheer said. "I want to make sure that whoever has them feels comfortable letting the cops know and getting the sleds back to us. That, at the end of the day, is what we are hoping to accomplish."
Sheer had travelled from team headquarters in Lake Placid, N.Y., to Blue Mountain Ski Area, a resort north of Allentown, on Friday to prepare for a weekend recruiting event. He said he didn't latch a rear door properly and out the sleds went.
He realized they were gone the following morning. Retracing his route, Sheer determined where they would have slipped out — on Airport Road in East Allen Township, Northampton County.
"I actually banged on the door of one the neighbours," he said. "I said, 'This is going to sound completely out of left field, but I'm from the U.S. luge team.' Before I could even get the word 'luge' out of my mouth, he said, 'Sleds.'"
Turns out the neighbour saw the sleds along the side of the road — and then watched them being hauled away by the guy in the pickup.
Anyone with information about the sleds is asked to contact state police in Bethlehem.