Former Humboldt Bronco, Jacob Wassermann, Making The Canadian Paralympic Team For Rowing Rules So Hard

Eliot J. Schechter. Getty Images.

It's been 6 years since the Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy rocked the sports world. It was one of those rare moments that hit everybody who played any sport growing up. We can all relate to being on the bus with your boys going to or from a game, bullshitting around without a care in the world. Those bus rides are some of the best memories of your life, but the fact that this was the last moment that most of them ever got to spend together was absolutely gut wrenching. 

There were 13 survivors of that crash who were tasked with having to deal with the loss of 16 of their closest friends, while also finding a way to continue moving forward with their own life to honor everyone else in the crash who couldn't go on with theirs. I'm sure it seemed like an impossible task at times that were filled with doubt and guilt. Not only that, but also most of these survivors were left with injuries that took their hockey playing careers away from them. 

But Jacob Wassermann wasn't going to sit around and feel sorry for himself. He was paralyzed from the waist down, but his dreams of representing his country one day on the biggest stage remained. Maybe he wouldn't get a chance to play goalie anymore for team Canada, but dreams that you truly believe in are worth adapting for. So Jacob Wassermann got off the ice and went onto the water. And now just a couple years after taking up para rowing, he'll be on his way to Paris to represent Team Canada at the Paralympics. 

CBC -- "This tragedy happened and it was on a big stage. We were junior hockey players, a bunch of 18 to 20 year olds who were trying to live out our dreams, right? And it happened," he said. "Life moves on and we've all grown from it and are all super appreciative of the support that the world has provided."

…"For 18 years I was going to be a pro hockey player. That was the one goal and it had to change and it was sort of difficult for sure at first, but I really learned if you keep going forward with the dreams that you had, they'll work out for you," he said.

"I know it has been a long, windy road to get here for me. Not the path I thought I would take, not the end result that I even thought would happen, but it's all worked out in a very positive way because I've just decided to keep moving forward and keep working hard."

It's hard to put yourself in that position and think about how you'd handle the hand that life has dealt Jacob Wassermann. But even if you handled it half as well as Wassermann is doing right now, that would be a success. To have that level of appreciativeness and gratitude even after your dream was dealt a massive blow at just 18-years-old is awesome. 

Jacob Wassermann is an athlete. He was put on this Earth to compete. And that's what he's going to do regardless of if it's between the pipes, or on the river. He's going to give it everything he has because if anybody out there knows what it's like to not know whether or not a competition will be your last, it's him. So I think it's fair for everybody to be a Canadian fan whenever he gets on the water in Paris this August/September.