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On this Day...

50  years ago today, Sabena Flight 548 crashed en route to Brussels, Belgium.  The crash claimed 72 lives. Among the dead were the entire U.S. Figure Skating world championship team. The contingent included not only 18 USFSA athletes, but also 16 family members, coaches, and officials.

The world championships, set to take place in Prague, were canceled.  U.S. figure skating had been dealt a tragic blow.  The documentary film Rise takes a look at the consequences of that crash and its affects on figure skating in this country.

Today is a day to honor and remember the victims of the most tragic day in skating history.  Here are some stories that look back at the tragedy:

Sports Illustrated

Denver Post

Los Angeles Times


CBC Sports

The skaters:

Roger Campbell (19-year-old ice dancing silver medalist, partnered with Dona Lee Carrier)

Dona Lee Carrier (20-year-old National ice dance silver medalist)

Robert Dineen (23-year-old National bronze medal ice dancer, competed with wife Patricia and left behind an infant son)

Patricia Dineen (National bronze medal ice dancer)

Ila Ray Hadley (18-year-old National pairs silver medalist with her brother, Ray.  Their mother also died in the crash)

Ray Hadley, Jr. (17-year-old National pairs silver medalist.  They competed dance as well)

Laurie Hickox (15-year-old National pairs bronze medalist. She competed with her brother).

William Holmes Hickox (19-year-old National pairs bronze medalist. He was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy)

Gregory Kelley (16-year-old National silver medalist. His sister Nathalie was killed in the crash as well)

Bradley Lord (21-year-old National champion)

Rhode Lee Michelson (17-year-old ladies National bronze medalist)

Laurence Owen (16-year-old ladies National champion)

Maribel Owen (20-year-old National pairs champion with Dudley Richards)

Dallas "Larry" Pierce (24-year-old National ice dance champion with Diane Sherbloom)

Douglas Ramsay (16-year-old fourth place Nationals finisher.  He was replacing the ill bronze medalist)

Dudley Shaw Richards (29-year-old National pairs champion)

Diane Carol Sherbloom (18-year-old National ice dance champion who had paired with partner Larry Pierce only months before)

Stephanie Westerfeld (17-year-old National ladies silver medalist. Her sister Sharon was also killed)

The crash also claimed coaches:

Alva "Linda" Hadley, William Kipp, Edi Scholdan (and 13-year-old son), nine-time National champ Maribel Vinson Owen, Daniel Ryan, and William Swallender

And judges:

Harold Hartshorne, a founder of the Skating Club of New York, Edward LeMaire

and a referee:

Walter S. Powell