Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins gave a powerful speech during the memorial service for Matiss Kivlenieks.
Kivlenieks, who was also a goalie on the Blue Jackets, was killed during a tragic fireworks accident on the Fourth of July after he was struck in the chest. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
Superstar Athlete Killed By Fireworks. Here’s What Fans Need To Know https://t.co/OcDKug9NVF
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 5, 2021
During the memorial service, his teammate revealed that Kivlenieks died sacrificing himself to save around 50 other people from getting hit.
“He saved my son, he saved my wife and he saved me…If that wasn’t me, my wife or son, that would have been 50 other people. He died a hero. That’s not me saying it. That was the doctors saying it … He saved a lot of lives,” Merzlikins said as he fought back tears.
You can watch his full comments below.
“He saved my son, he saved my wife and he saved me. … He died as hero.”
Elvis Merzlikins at the memorial service for Matiss Kivlenieks. Kivlenieks died after he was struck in the chest by a fireworks mortar shell on July 4. pic.twitter.com/69C09ggG67
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) July 15, 2021
This is such a tragic story. It’s almost difficult to put into words just how sad it is. Kivlenieks was only 24 years old at the time of his death.
He was just a young man with his entire future ahead of him as a person and as a hockey player.
It’s with a very heavy heart that we share the news that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24.
We are heartbroken. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 5, 2021
Now, we’ve learned that he died so that dozens of others could live and avoid danger during the fireworks tragedy.
It’s stories like this one that really bring to mind just how brave some people can be in moments of crisis.
Matiss Kivlenieks, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie, has died after an apparent head injury suffered from a fall.
He was 24. pic.twitter.com/DBTWx0e4PT
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 5, 2021
Rest easy, Kivlenieks. The man will forever be remembered as a hero for saving Merzlikins, his family and others.