A flight of US skating champions died in a horrifying tragedy. It’s been 60 years, but the effects are still felt today by many. The US figure skating team killed in a plane crash, leaving many mourners behind.
In this black-and-white photograph, people are boarding Sabena flight plane 548 with all smiles and laughs. The entire US figure skating team was heading to their championship.
Little did they know what was about to happen with them.
On Feb 15, 1961, a commercial plane took off from New York with all the US skating team members. They were on their way to the world’s skating championship competition in Prague. Everything seemed so smooth, and the team members were all excited.
The team encountered a terrible accident, and we lost all the smiles. The plane crashed near Brussels airport, killing every passenger on board. There were team coaches, some officials, and few family members that died in the horrible Sabena plane crash. 72 people were on board the Sabena flight 548, and there were no survivors.
The picture shows a frightful glimpse of the plane crash of Sabena flight 548.
Peggy Fleming, an international Olympic gold medalist, was devasted upon hearing this sad news. She had a coach Bill Kipp who died in this crash. She said,
“At 12 years old, it’s just hard to get your head wrapped around what was happening, It was horrible to have it just wiped out.”
This accident was very devastating for every human being. Peggy had worked with Kipp for a year. He trained her to skate better and beautifully. Peggy remembers Kipp, and she said: ‘’he was inspiring and very handsome.’’
‘’He was always happy, he had a lot of energy, and he really loved skating to look beautiful.’’
Bill Kipp was the great coach among all the coaches of the skating team. He also coached many other players who also died in the plane crash.
Can you imagine the impact it had on the sport in the US when the entire team died in the plane crash? That crash was wreckage! The loss of this US skating team wasn’t the loss of their family but of the whole nation indeed.
The skating champions left us due to an awful accident. It has shattered the whole skating generation of the time. Everyone is still feeling the effects.
To keep their legacy alive, people continued to make this sport into something very memorable. The U.S officials raised a memorial fund that supports U.S skaters.
A bench has in Colorado Springs stands in honor of the U.S skating team in 1961. This horrific crash still gives you sad goosebumps. It signifies the loss of the most talented skaters.
What caused the crash is still unknown. Many investigations have occurred, but the actual reason never came forward. Every man and woman who mourned these skaters and their coaches helped memorialize them.
We lose thousands of people each day, some of them can be our close ones, but we move on with our lives. They say life goes on. In the end, tragedies like these remind us to hold our loved ones close and tight.