UFC stars, Bret Hart meet with recovering Humboldt player

UFC fighter <span>Eddie Alvarez (far-left) described </span>Ryan Straschnitzki (centre) as <span>‘a beacon of hope.’</span>
UFC fighter Eddie Alvarez (far-left) described Ryan Straschnitzki (centre) as ‘a beacon of hope.’

It has now been nearly two months since the tragic bus crash that shook the town of Humboldt, taking the lives of 16 members of the town’s junior hockey team and leaving 13 injured. Many of those who survived the accident are in intense recovery processes, including nineteen-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki. 

In Calgary earlier this week, UFC brawlers Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier along with WWE legend Bret Hart visited Straschnitzki at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, before the teenager flew to Philadelphia for specialized spinal rehabilitation. The April 6 crash left Straschnitzki paralyzed from the chest down. 

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If there has been any silver lining to this truly devastating tragedy, it has been the overwhelming support from all walks of life for the Broncos hockey team. Alvarez in particular was struck by his meeting with Straschnitzki, calling him an ‘inspiration’ and ‘a beacon of hope.’

Poirier, who will square off with Alvarez at UFC Fight Night at the Saddledome on July 28, said it was an honour to meet Flames fan Straschnitzki.

“He’s the real fighter,” Poirier said after visiting the teenager. “I don’t have to [fight], I can not do this if I don’t want to. He’s fighting.”

For former professional wrestler Bret Hart, this wasn’t the first time he has showed his support for recovering Humboldt Broncos.

After stopping by the hospital, the two fighters met up with the Calgary Flames and received custom jerseys from the team.

The combatants were in town to promote their headline matchup, which will determine which man will fight for the lightweight title, currently held by undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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