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'Burden off of their plate': How a private chef changed life for Canadian lugers

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Inside a rental home in Latvia with a group of people he'd only met two months earlier, chef Jade Berg could no longer hold back his emotions.

It was the final stop of a journey with the Canadian luge team that had taken him from B.C. to Utah and finally eastern Europe, and the athletes handed him a thank-you card and a signed bib as a token of their appreciation. "I was blubbering a little bit, trying to fight back tears like, 'Oh, come on guys.' And that was a real big surprise for me, the connection that we made together as a group and to just feel like I'm part of a team," Berg said.

Berg, who was born in Saskatchewan, grew up in High River, Alta., and currently resides in Campbell River, B.C., was hired in the fall by Luge Canada to serve as a private chef on the road.

Luge Canada isn't the first association to hire a private chef — if anything, you could question what's taken so long. But it's a step in the right direction for a team looking for its first Olympic podium appearance since 2018 and first-ever gold medal.

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