Rance Cardinal at the Saskatchewan border.

Rance Cardinal reaches Saskatchewan

May 14, 2018 7:56 am
Kevin Weedmark

Rance Cardinal arrived in Saskatchewan Thursday on his walk from northwest Ontario to Humboldt in honor of the Humboldt Broncos.

“It’s not every day I’m able to go to a Jets game. It’s maybe once a year. I had my sign saying ‘I just want to be on TV. Minutes before we saw the breaking news on the TV,” he says.

“It was just like a shockwave of pain that hit me. I have to tell you I never felt that since I lost my brother and my late teammate. So I changed my sign to Humboldt Strong, and it made the jumbotron. After the game I thought this would be such a huge honor to take that sign to Humboldt. After the game, I asked my uncle, what would you do if I walked to Humboldt. He gave me a different look. It wasn’t a look of doubt, it was more a look of pride. He said ‘I’ll support you the whole way.’

“From April 7 to April 11 I only got five hours of sleep. I was just thinking about it and talking about it. April 11 is when I started walking.”

Rance said it felt great to make it to Saskatchewan on Thursday evening. “It’s a big ape off my back. To get here is just awesome. I get to start my healing process a little more in depth. Each day I’m in Saskatchewan I’ll be thinking of one of the people who died on that bus. I can’t tell you how much I feel.

“The support is just unbelievable. Being told you’re an inspiration. Being told you’re a hero, being told you’re bringing Canada together. It’s something I would never ever think I would hear.

“I started off the day with the junior high kids at Virden and that was great way to start the day.

“Being told the kids were waiting for us at Elkhorn, it was exciting. When I got there it was unbelievable. Elkhorn is a small town with a really big heart.”

“I want to develop my inner peace, strength and honor. So I’m learning how big a heart Canadians have. People are reaching out to me.”

Rance lost a teammate to a car accident, and knows how it feels to lose someone close. He also lost his younger brother to an illness in 2013.

“This is a time of healing, like my late brother would always say, we’ll always bounce back. I want to send that message,” he says. “We’ll bounce back. This tragedy should say to everybody around the world our life is short our life is precious so live every moment like it’s your last.

“What I’ve learned about myself is you just have to put your mind to whatever you’re doing. You have to put your heart into it. I love hockey just as much as these boys did. It makes me sad, it hurts me to think about them. They were just young kids, young men.

“What I learned is you can’t just live life too fast. You have to take time to enjoy the life you have.”