The Humboldt crash that took place on Friday and claimed the lives of 15 people, most of them young men under the age of 20 playing for the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, and left 14 more injured has left the hockey world in shock and mourning. The crash happened Friday afternoon on Highway 35, about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, at the junction of Highway 335. The Broncos were headed to a playoff game in Nipawin at the time. It is by far the worst tragedy in Canadian sports history. And young surviving men, families, friends and everyone touched by this tragic event will forever remember the crash and the people that didn't make it.
While the community has rallied and supported the team, other members of the organization needed to find another way to immortalize the fallen players. From the millions raised on the GoFundMe page to the life-saving work of the medical personnel/first-responders to the support of the hockey community to the survivors of the Swift Current bus crash that came to town to the #SticksOutforHumboldt campaign, it’s been so special to see that these men will never be forgotten.
Former teammates – Colton Halvorson, 20, Daigon Elmy, 19, Austin Hilts, 18, have decided to carry their former teammates forever on their body. Halvorson, Elmy and Hilts all have gotten tattoos with their teammates’ names and numbers on them, Elmy and Hilts on their backs and Halvorson on his wrist. Elmy and Hilts have Leicht’s No. 11 sweater with a heart monitor in the background to signify Morgan Gobeil’s still beating heart.
Thomas Bollefer and Tanner Gerwing also said they plan to get a heartbeat tattoo in support of Morgan Gobeil, a Humboldt Broncos player who remains in ICU following Friday's deadly crash. Gobeil's loved ones also got the tattoo to support his fight for life.
“I remember the first seat I came to, I sat down near Morgan (Gobeil) and there was a bag there and Morgan just kicked the bag and pushed the sticks and sat down beside me,” Elmy said to the Hockey News following the tragedy. “And that’s exactly where we sat for the two years we played together.”
“We were a family. You come to the rink and hang out with the guys, what’s better than that? Honestly, I’m not really feeling anything right now. I cried for hours. Didn’t feel anything, then cried for hours. Just trying to keep water in me. It’s not easy,” he added.
What a great way to commemorate your fallen friend. Our hearts go out to every single family that’s involved in that tragedy.