A lot of the focus regarding the coronavirus in the sports world has been focused on the teams that currently have the most to lose in the short term, and understandably so. If you take the Philadelphia Flyers on the National Hockey League for example, the team was heading towards the postseason on an incredible hot streak of form and by all accounts the players are devastated that their current run of form has been shut down due to circumstances entirely outside of their control.
You could be forgiven for focusing on examples like this one, but on Saturday we were hit with the sobering reality that there are athletes out in the world who will be far more devastated than anyone should ever have to be. On Saturday Ville Koho, a star in the SM-Liiga, know simply as the Finnish Elite League in North America, was set to have his life's work culminate in a joyous celebration in front of his hometown fans, but instead the 38 year old Finn was robbed of that opportunity as a result of the outbreak of this terrible virus. Instead of a sold out home crowd that was expected to be in attendance Ville Koho was instead sat at center ice surrounded by a handful of people in a very somber celebration of his career.
It is a moment that Koho and his hometown fans will never have the chance to experience again and it is one that has effectively been stolen from then as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The images that have surfaced from that gathering at center ice tell the story of what went down in the absence of that final game, and there's no doubt considering the emotion visible on Koho's face in every picture that has surfaced that he has been completely devastated by the moment.
Even in the moments in which he is toasting his career surrounded by those closest to him, Koho fails to mask the pain in his face and given the pictures that have also emerged of the empty arena it is impossible to blame the man. Although nothing will take away his accomplishments on the ice, Koho's victory lap has forever been stolen from him.