Canadian curlers honour Humboldt at mixed doubles worlds
Kirk Muyres, Laura Crocker show support for Saskatchewan town after tragedy
As Canada's Laura Crocker and Kirk Muyres slide over the ice at the world mixed doubles curling championship this week in Sweden, they're doing so with Humboldt Broncos patches over their left knees.
It's a small gesture — but one Muyres had to do after the horrific bus crash killing 16 members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team.
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"It was one way to show everyone back home they're in our hearts and in our thoughts," Muyres said.
"There were a lot of days in there where you didn't know how to help of support them, or to ease some of the pain."
Muyres connection to Humboldt is strong.
Not far from the epicentre of pain and grief is where Muyres grew up, about 20 kilometres east of Humboldt in the small Saskatchewan village of St. Gregor. Around 100 people live there.
It's a place where everyone knows everyone, a similar story for many living in that area. Muyres spent his early curling days at the Humboldt Curling club, which is a few steps away from the home of the Broncos, Elgar Petersen Arena.
"I watched a lot of curling in the arena and knew a lot of Broncos growing up. When it happened it hit really close to home. My family still lives in the area. I'm there every couple weeks," he said.
Muyres said he didn't know anyone inside the bus but knows a lot of support staff and family members of the team.
"When young lives are lost like this it's shattering and to see what it does to a community," he said.
That's why it was important for Muyres to get the patches put on the team's pants as they compete at the 2018 mixed doubles world curling championship.
So far, Crocker and Muyres are perfect in the tournament. They've started the event with four straight wins including defeating Ireland, Austria, Brazil and Guyana. Never before has a Canadian team captured a world mixed doubles championship.
The two will take their undefeated record and Humboldt Broncos patches to the ice next against the Czech Republic on Tuesday afternoon.