Wayne Gretzky is The Great One, not just for his incredible plays on the ice but also because of how great of a person he is. You couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for hockey than Gretzky. He’s always humble and kind and always stays true to his beliefs.
Gretzky is the best player in hockey history, and few people have made such a lasting impact on so many people as he has. Gretzky is just a class act, and if you need any more proof of it, then here you go.
This weekend, Gretzky joined the Spittin’ Chiclets crew as they broadcasted the annual FDNY vs. NYPD Heroes Hockey Game. Both teams are located in New York, and on the broadcast, Gretzky shared an incredible story of when he once met a family that lost their son during 9/11.
”Janet and I happened to be in Vegas for a charity event, and they were sitting by the pool. I can’t remember exactly what they were there for, but it was sort of a family get-together‚” Gretzky said.
”I walked by and they said, ’Are you Wayne?’ I said yeah, and they said, ’You know, we had a son that tragically passed in 9/11 and here’s his picture.’ They gave me his card, and I said, ’I’ll keep this in my wallet for life.’ They said okay, and we had a nice chat, a cold beverage together.”
Nobody would expect Wayne Gretzky to actually keep the card for the rest of his life, and nobody would blame him for not carrying it with him at all times. But ten years later, Gretzky was in Vegas for another event.
”Friends of their family were there, and they said, ’Hey, can we ask you a question? Do you still have that picture of our friend? Their family told us you were going to have it in your wallet.” I said yeah, and I pulled my wallet out, and I still had the picture. I promised the family I would never lose it. I would keep it forever.”
Wayne Gretzky never thought about not keeping the photo, and it says a whole lot about what kind of person he is.
“You know what? Everyone went through a hard time,” he said. “For me to keep a little keepsake like that is special to me.”
The Great One—he’s almost too good to be true.