(WINDSOR, ON) – It’s been one week since the horrific news out of Humoldt, SK, which rang out concerning the sudden passing of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team. It affected not only those who perished at the scene of a rural crash site, but also those who still remained, injured and in hospital.
Sadly, one of the later victims, the team’s physio therapist and the only female member of the team, died in hospital, yesterday, from injuries sustained in the crash.
It’s not for this writer, at this time, to name the latest victim, especially without previously naming the 15 others. It’s also less important with regard to how many pulled on the jersey with the Bronco’s logo, or who laced up their skates competitively to represent the town verses those who served as coaches, trainers, or whomever drove the team bus.
Most often when a team wins a championship all of those named above usually gets a trophy, medal, or some sort of acknowledge for the role they played.
Thus, for anyone who has ever played a sport, or on a varsity team, which traveled together regularly, you know what’s most important is the communal spirit of all for one and one for all that permeates the family-like atmosphere.
This feeling of connectivity is present among and between all of those affiliated with the team in whatever capacity that may be; whether on a bus, a train, or a plane, or in the arena, a restaurant, or motel.
It’s also true that while a team is on the road their respective families and communities await their return, individually and collectively. Should even one perish there is a sense of personal loss felt by all.
Perhaps this is true for other extra-curricular groups, but with the high degree of passion that elite athletes and team staff bring to their respective sport, none seems to rival that, save an except those in military units.
In Canada, hockey in particular reigns supreme as the sport which unites the hearts of its players, coaches, staff, and community members like none other. The tragedy that unfolded at the practically barren crossroads near Tisdale, SK, last Friday not only sent shock waves throughout Humboldt, but every hockey hamlet, town, and city from coast to coast across this diverse land.
Windsor experienced a very similar fate in recent memory when four members of the Wildcats hockey team died while also traveling on a team bus. So, it is with very shaken and heavy hearts that we received this latest tragic news.
For that matter, it shook the hearts of all athletes and non-athletes alike around the world. Many of whom have reached out to Humboldt in various ways, languages, and cultural forms of communication to express their condolences and support.
This is particularly true in parts of the world which have suffered major loss of life in a short time.
Regardless of language or the means of expression, the message is the same; We love you, we feel and share your sense of loss, and lest we forget.