Two and a half years ago, one of the worst tragedies in sporting history occurred when a flight carrying the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed shortly after takeoff. Forty-three died at the crash site. Only one player was rescued from the wreck alive, Alexander Galimov.
Galimov, a teammate of Alex Ovechkin‘s on Team Russia during the 2005 World Junior Championships, survived for five days before succumbing to his injuries. During his struggle, Ovechkin tweeted in Russian, “Sasha Galimov, you must live!!”
“I played with him when I was a little kid and again on national team, junior,” an upset Ovechkin said to The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera that day. “It’s kind of a scary moment. A whole national tragedy.”
Just as with his fallen brother Sergei, whom Ovechkin honors by stitching his name into his left glove, Alex salutes his fallen friend with a patch he wears on his pads under his jersey.
On Tuesday NBCSN showed video of Ovechkin putting on his warm-ups, the patch clearly visible. It says, “In Memory Of Lokomotiv.” It is stitched over his heart.