On Monday, the city of Las Vegas experienced a mass shooting that led to the deaths of at least 58 people and injured around 500 others. Nate Schmidt, a former Capital and one of the inaugural members of the Vegas Golden Knights, wrote about his perspective of the tragedy on ESPN Wednesday.
Known for his unwaveringly positive disposition and infectious smile, Schmidt said that the experience was a sobering one for him, calling it “one of the most difficult things [he’s] ever experienced.”
“Sometimes when you’re full of excitement, you’re at a loss for words — you can’t describe how you feel. This was probably the first time I’ve been at a loss for words on the other side of the spectrum,” Schmidt said.
In an effort to support their new community, Schmidt and his teammates visited on Tuesday with first responders, the loved ones of victims, and people in Vegas doing whatever they could to ease the pain that the events of Monday night caused.
Schmidt, however, had a message of hope for Las Vegas and the role that its new hockey team can play in the city. Echoing statements made by the team itself, the defenseman said that he hopes that the Golden Knights can help to provide both a distraction and tireless support to the city.
“The actions of the people in this city — whether it’s us coming out or people at the blood drive where they had to turn people away because there were too many volunteers — are what make Vegas the city that it is,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt also pointed to the home opener being a way to begin moving forward and honor the first responders and people affected by the tragedy.
“Do you know what is the beauty of sports? It lets people step outside their daily routine, their daily stresses — or in this case, their tragedy — and lets them be normal again,” Schmidt said. “When it comes to the home opener on Oct. 10, it’s going to be a bittersweet night. We will have first responders and people affected by this out with us. We will continue to do that as the year goes on. That will always be a reminder of what this city has gone through.”
On Monday, Schmidt also took a leadership role, writing a note to those who were impacted.
My teammates and I will be out tomorrow to do anything we can to help this tragic event. I have a message for Vegas, and to those impacted. pic.twitter.com/nmsOou6vsM
— Nate Schmidt (@nateschmidt29) October 3, 2017
Headline photo: Ethan Miller
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