Stolen bike victim gets new bicycle


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Wichita, Kan. -- Joey Weniger, a 27 year old Wichitan, was angered and saddened when someone stole his bicycle out of his mom's pickup truck while the two were inside an east Wichita thrift shop last week.

Weniger says his reaction to the theft was, "Mad. Kind of upset."

But now his sadness is turned into tears of joy. That because an anonymous donor bought him a new bicycle from the Academy Sports store on North Maize Road.

Joey's mother Bonnie Weniger says, "When I first told him a gentleman was going to buy him a bike he got all teared up. He said, 'Mom, why would someone do that for me?' " He said, 'He doesn't even know me.'"

Joey loves to compete in Kansas Special Olympics bicycling races.

Mitch Guthrie, Director of Kansas Special Olympics, was on hand when Joey picked out his new bike.

Guthrie says, "Most of our athletes do more than one sport throughout the year. But you can always tell which sport is that athlete's favorite sport. For Joey, it's always been cycling. So when he lost his bike it was more than he lost his transportation, his way from point A to point B. He lost his friend, he said.. his favorite thing to do. It's his passion. But cycling's always been his passion. He always has his cycling gloves on. I can't even imagine the devastation when he discovered his bike was gone."

"HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO YOUR OTHER BICYCLE?, Joey was asked. Different. IN WHAT WAY? No water bottle holder."

That was quickly rectified right there at the store.

Joey says as soon as it warms up he'll be riding again and in training for upcoming Special Olympic events this Spring.


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