On the 6th of April 2018, disaster struck a team of young ice hockey players when they were on their way to a playoff game. A semi-truck slammed into the bus of the Humbro Broncos junior team and sadly killed 16 of the young upcoming players. Another 13 were injured in the accident which was caused by the reckless driving of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu. Sidhu pleaded guilty on 29 counts for reckless driving and claimed that his attention distracted by a flapping tarp on the back of the truck when he skipped a stop sign and slammed into the bus.
He was sent to prison for eight years at the beginning of this year. One of the injured athletes was the 20-year-old ice hockey star with dreams of representing his country one day, Ryan Straschnitzki. Straschnitzki was left paralyzed from his waist down after the incident.
During the middle of this year, Straschnitzki signed a three-year contract with the sportswear giant, Adidas. Recently their latest advert was launched, and during the one minute clip, Straschnitzki states that when one door closes, another opens up. This seems to be the life motto of this young sportsman whose career and dreams were crushed by someone else in a moment of neglect.
Straschnitzki took the life-changing experience in his stride and is still dreaming of playing for Canada, but now in their Para-ice hockey team. He is also not only working towards that achievement, but he is also adamant that they need to win gold in the Paralympics set to take place in Beijing in 2022. Straschnitzki recently attended his previous club 526 days after his accident when they played their opening match against Notre Dame Hounds. He stated that he was giving himself time to heal, but he knew it was time to get back, and that is what he did.
President to the Sports Hall of Fame in Canada, Cheryl Bernard stated that the young ice-hockey star is a great inspiration to many. She felt that he is giving people hope and that his story needs to be known to the public. Straschnitzki has recently been nominated for a newly added award at the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the People’s Choice Award. This award is given to people who make a significant contribution in their communities and sport and are seen as possible future abductees into the Sports Hall of Fame.
This came as a great surprise to him and his family, who mostly thought that he is forgotten as his dad, Tom Straschnitzki stated. Not only did Straschnitzki get recognized by the Hall of Fame but also was chosen as champion by the Wings of Life. This is a spinal cord research foundation. For Para-sports he received a nomination as champion as well as for Para-ice hockey. Straschnitzki is genuinely a young star with great dreams for the future, and through sports, he found a way to inspire others.