Colour Commentary: Reminder to everyone that athletes aren’t superhuman

We always think of athletes as superhuman. Kobe Bryant’s death was a reminder that they are just as human as you and I.

Last Tuesday night, unfortunately we had another reminder.

In a game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues, defenceman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench from what is called a cardiac episode.

After an extended shift on the ice, Bouwmeester lost consciousness on the bench during a commercial break. Players from both teams were hollering at the training staff to tend to Bouwmeester.

The game was postponed to a later date and Bouwmeester was transported in a conscious and stable condition to hospital.

To make matters even more traumatic, Bouwmeester’s father was in attendance at the Honda Center as it was the Blues’ annual father/son road trip. Now, I’m not a parent but I can only imagine what was going through Bouwmeester’s father’s mind as his son laid motionless on the floor next to the bench.

However, if his father was back wherever he lived, there would most likely be a time difference and there can’t be anything scarier than waking up to a million phone calls from people saying “Oh my god, is your son ok? Did you see what happened?”

These horrifying events are brutal reminders that athletes are not superhuman. They have families and friends just like the rest of us.

I have to tip my cap to the training staff of the Blues and Ducks for how they handled the situation.

Bob McKenzie joined TSN 690’s Morning Show on Wednesday and said: “there was no better place for that, as unfortunate of an event as it is, than at an NHL rink.”

McKenzie is 100 per cent correct. The problem was identified right away and Bouwmeester had expert help by his side within 30 seconds of his collapse. Since the episode, Bouwmeester has undergone successful heart surgery to put an implant to help regulate his heart rhythm and is resting at home.

This is yet another reminder to us to hug your loved ones and tell them you love them.

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