The tragedy in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team has rocked Canadians this week. Regardless of whether you are a fan of hockey, this story cannot help but move you. The accident between a bus loaded with young hockey players and a truck loaded with peat moss was a hockey parent’s worst nightmare. The parents, families and friends of the 15 victims of the accident are all currently living that nightmare. The rest of us can only shudder in horror imagining how unbelievably awful this past week must have (and continues to be) been for them.
Whether you live in a large city or a small town in Canada, hockey cannot help but touch your life. After all, hockey is Canada’s sport. Whether you play, watch, or coach hockey, serve as team trainer or manager, your involvement in hockey means you love the sport and cannot help but get emotionally involved with your team.
The hockey community is very tight across Canada. Whether we know them personally or not, we all cheer for and keep track of our hometown kids as they grow up and follow their dream to play in the big league. We celebrate and share their victories and achievements. This week we mourn the loss of these talented, hard working, ambitious, young athletes and the adults with them as the Humboldt Broncos team travelled together on their final hockey road trip.
As the country watches, listens and mourns, Canadians and others around the world have stepped up to show their support for the Humboldt Broncos team. A Go Fund Me account has raised over 9 million dollars to date to help the families of the victims. Professional hockey teams and players have offered their condolences. Families are leaving hockey sticks and lights on at their front doors. Students and parents alike are wearing jerseys to school and work.
As difficult as this tragedy has been to watch unfold, the heartfelt response has made me (even more) proud to be Canadian!