25 years ago today the hockey world, Swift Current and more importantly the friends and family of four talented young men suffered through a terrible tragedy. Others have spoken more eloquently than I could about the loss of Brent Ruff, Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, and Chris Mantyka. What can any new voice add to such an old pain?
I will say that the four-leaf clover worn by not only the Broncos but by every Swift Current minor hockey team is one of the most powerful and important symbols in all of sports.
It reminds me that first… before anything else… these warriors that play the game we love are someone’s son. They are young men with their whole lives in front of them. We sometimes have to remember that those lives are more important than any game, season or championship.
Tonight the Broncos and Pats honour the “Four Broncos” before the game in Regina. The 2011 version of this proud franchise will ride that same stretch of road that the 1986 team was meant to 25 years ago today. I don’t think any of us will be able to avoid pondering the symbolism involved and how lucky we all are to have the opportunities we have.
To mark this sad anniversary I have received permission from Jon Keen to post the radio documentary he produced five years ago for the 20th anniversary of the crash. It is a terrific piece of work and tells the story better than I ever could.
Part 1 of the radio documentary by Jon Keen (Download)
Part 2 of the radio documentary by Jon Keen (Download)
Thank you to Jon for the terrific work and to all of those who participated in the interviews he did while producing it.
Here are some other links on the subject:
- Our story from Swift Current Online
- Debbie Elicksen’s article on the crash
- Rob Vanstone looks back
- Gregg Drinnan has details on a coming book
- A very good article by Steven Mah