A whole world mourns Börje Salming, who passed away last week in the suites of ALS. Now his daughter Bianca talks about the sadness of The Express.
On Thursday, November 24, hockey legend Börje Salming passed away in the suites of ALS. He lived to be 71 years old. Salming’s old hockey club Toronto Maple Leafs announced the sad news in a statement:
“Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the loss of Börje Salming. Börje was a pioneer in the sport and an icon with unbreakable spirit and undeniable toughness. He helped open the door for other Europeans in the NHL,” they wrote.
ALS is an incurable neurological disease in which nerve cells in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord die, leading to increasingly paralyzed arms and legs. Salming’s wife Pia told in an interview with Expressen last autumn about the difficult time after the diagnosis:
“Then it was pitch black. He was very depressed and very sad. Until you know for sure, you still have the hope that it’s not as bad as it seems,” she said. “There was also a fear that he would pass this on to his children. But it wasn’t genetic. So he was very relieved for that. But then we’ve been in the dark here.”
Bianca Salming: “Feels unreal”
For the same newspaper, Salming’s daughter, the successful track and field athlete Bianca Salming, is now talking about the time after her father’s death:
“In the beginning it was just sadness, an enormous sadness. Then came the anger, you got angry sometimes. And now everything is just unreal. At the same time, it has felt unreal for a long time, ever since we received this message last summer,” she says The Express.
She continues: “It feels like I’ve now reached the stage where everything just feels so surreal. That it hasn’t happened. The last few days have been like a fog and I’m kind of trying to go with it a bit and keep thinking like that so that I can keep up.”
Salming has been praised in several places around the world since the news of the illness came. One of those occasions was a recent weekend in Toronto when Salming was feted at the Scotiabank Arena. Bianca says that the love the world has shown her father is heartwarming:
“I am very grateful for all the support and love. I know it has meant everything to dad during this time, so I want to thank him too,” she says.
Here you can learn about and contribute to the research against ALS: