“…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” – John Donne
Today the sports community mourns the loss of the Brazillion Soccer team, the Chapecoense. The charter plane carrying the team to take on the Colombian club, Atletico Nacional from Medellin, tragically crashed in Rionegro, Colombia killing 75 passengers. The only surviving member of the Chapecoense team was Defender, Alan Ruschel.
The team was on the rise and fans may always wonder what might have been. “Yesterday morning I was saying goodbye to them, they told me they were going in search of the dream, to make this dream a reality,” said Plinio David de Nes Filho, chairman of the club’s board. “And we, very excitedly, shared this dream with them. But the dream was over this morning.”
Let us hope, although this dream may have ended in heart-breaking loss, the next team to take up the green jerseys of the Chapecoense feel pride and obligation to rise and fulfill the dreams lost in the wreckage.
Media coverage and images of the crash will continue to flood news outlets around the world, but we hope to focus on the solidarity and love within the sporting communities. Whenever athletes tie on their cleats or coaches drape whistles around their necks, we’re brought together for the love of the game. In triumph, we all triumph. In defeat, we all ache. This loss touches us all and we must all extend our hearts and prayers to the families and friends of those athletes no longer with us.