O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Tragic Death in Sports: an Entire Team

After reporting on Bobby Rhine's sudden death yesterday, earlier today Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL (Russia's top hockey league) lost their entire team. One of the top teams in Europe's top domestic league, they were on their way to Minsk, Belarus for the first game of the season vs. Dynamo Minsk when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Yaroslavl. The plane hit an airport tower then crashed into the Volga River. Every member of the team, plus four from the youth side, was on board. Right winger Alexander Galimov was the only member of the team to survive the crash. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and I've seen conflicting reports on whether or not he died in the hospital. Many former NHL players were on board. Flight engineer Alexander Sizov was the only survivor among the crew. So far 43 of 45 aboard are confirmed dead including former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek, Alexander Vasyunov, and Brad McCrimmon, who was the coach.

The inaugural match of the KHL season, between last year's Gagarin Cup winners Salavat Yulaev Ufa and runners up Atlant Moscow Oblast was cancelled already in progress and the whole season postponed. The international hockey community is trying to fathom the idea of an entire team-players, coaches, everybody-dying in a horrible tragedy like this. Everyone on that flight did nothing more than get up to go to work and get on a business flight. It was just another day at work. "Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour." (Mt. 25:13) We must always be ready. We must constantly be ready to go be judged by Our Maker at a moments notice. Go to Confession regularly.

Unfortunately this is in the vernacular, but it is an Eastern/Orthodox chant in honor of the dead. I found it appropriate since most of the victims are Russian: