On this day: the plane crash that killed an entire sporting team

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Found in the wreckage X

On the 15th of February, 1961 the plane transporting the entire US figure skating team to the World Championships crashed in Belgium, killing everyone on board.

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Two days earlier, national ladies’ champion Laurence Owen, aged sixteen, had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There is a common myth that appearing on the cover of the magazine curses athletes, as she is not the only person to have something terrible happen soon afterwards.

 owens-girlslaurence-and-maribel-owen-with-their-legendary-mother-coach-maribel

The Owen family. X

Owen’s sister Maribel, also a member of the team, and her mother, a coach and former champion herself, were also on the flight.

In addition to the seventy-two people on the plane, a farmer was also killed by flying debris.

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The team boards the plane the day before the crash. X

Once news of the crash got out, the Championships, scheduled to be held in Prague, were cancelled to honour the victims.

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