Snow flew and scenery flashed by as Jose Neto raced down the bobsleigh track at Canadian Olympic Park, but he saw none of it.

Blinded by a stray bullet, Neto was an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time near a fight that ended in gunfire on Sept. 16, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, however, he and his girlfriend Roberta Porto had the opportunity to race a bobsled at 119 km/h with Olympic hopeful and pilot Trevor Irwin.

At a loss for words, Neto, all smiles, said that it was “better than I thought” and that it wasn’t scary.

“My mind created lights passing so fast,” he said after the ride.

The $300 bobsled ride was part of a donation to a fundraiser held by Irwin last summer to raise money for his team, but ended up in the lap of the CNIB when the donator said he wasn’t up for the trip down the hill. Irwin said the CNIB suggested Neto because of all he had been through.

In response to the violence Calgary has seen of late, Neto, regardless of the incident that blinded him, said that although it’s sometimes difficult to walk through downtown he still has faith in Calgary.

“I get shocked every time I hear about (violence) here,” Neto said. “I still think Calgary is a really safe place to live.”

Latest From ...