Tag Archives: Remembers

‘She was so amazing’: Olympic luger fondly remembers Snowbirds crash victim Capt. Jenn Casey

Canadian Olympic luger Tristan Walker will never forget the time he got to share the sky with Captain Jenn Casey.

“It will forever be one the best days of my life. I have Jenn to thank for that,” he said.

In April 2019, Walker and teammate Justin Snith were invited to the Canadian Air Forces Base Comox in British Columbia to take flight with the Snowbirds.

The two compete in men’s doubles and raced the anchor leg for Canada, leading the team to a relay silver medal at the 2018 Olympics.

Walker didn’t know it at the time, but through a series of back and forth messages over Instagram last winter, he’d learn he was messaging with Casey for months in an attempt to line up the flight.

“She was my first point of contact with the Snowbirds,” Walker told CBC Sports.

“She immediately came back with positivity. Nothing but positivity with Jenn. That’s what it was like the entire time I knew her.”

On that April day a little more than a year ago, Walker was greeted in Comox by the bright smile of Casey. She stayed by his side the entire day, helping him gear up in the distinctive red and white of the Snowbirds and go through a safety course.

Not long after that, Walker was strapped in for a flight with Canada’s air demonstration squadron – Walker was piloted by Captain Taylor Evans of Canmore, Alta.

Casey was perched inside a massive Buffalo search and rescue plane high above the Snowbirds, documenting the flight with her camera.

Time spent with Casey

“To be able to get that chance to go up in the sky with the Snowbirds was a lifelong dream that I didn’t think was ever going to happen,” Walker said.

“I was lucky enough to spend a handful of hours with Jenn. She was so amazing and left such an impression on me.”

When they came back down from the sky, Walker was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the experience – he took a photo alongside Casey in the minutes following the exhilarating experience and couldn’t stop smiling.

“Genuine is the word. That’s been my experience with Jenn. She has that great smile. She’s always smiling. That’s how I’m going to remember her,” Walker said.

Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds, died Sunday in the crash. (Royal Canadian Air Force)

Storyteller, kind, warm and welcoming

Capt. Casey of Nova Scotia is being remembered as a gifted storyteller, a kind and generous friend and a proud member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team.

Casey, a public affairs officer for the Snowbirds, died on Sunday when the jet she was in crashed shortly after takeoff and burst into flames in the front yard of a house in Kamloops, B.C.

The news has sent a shockwave of sadness across Canada. The Snowbirds have been on a cross-country tour to raise people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walker took to his social media platforms in the hours that followed her death, saying he was at a “total loss for words” and that he was grateful for her being “such a huge part of one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.”

“She was always up for anything,” Walker told CBC Sports.

“She was just warm and welcoming from the very first time we messaged.”

Walker shared his condolences on social media after Casey’s death and expressed gratitude for the experience he had with her and the Snowbirds. (Tristan Walker)

That’s what Casey wanted for everyone she came across. She wanted people to experience moments. And she created them for so many people, including a number of other Olympians who had the chance over the years to spend time with the Snowbirds and take to the air.

Last summer, when Walker showed up at the Springbank Airport outside of Calgary driving his motorcycle, Casey fulfilled another one of his dreams.

He’s always had a need for speed and craves the rush of adrenaline – partly why he luges. It’s also why he suggested burning down the runway alongside the roaring jets on his motorbike. He wanted to recreate a scene from Top Gun and knew it was a crazy thing to ask.

“She immediately made a phone call and made it happen,” Walker said, laughing.

“I don’t think anyone has been allowed to do the Top Gun reenactment. She was filming it from the airshow stand.”

Family affair

Walker describes what he felt during his time with Casey and the Snowbirds team as being family-like – and for Walker it was all very close to his family too.

Walker’s grandfather Len Bolger flew CF-100s with 409 Squadron, at the same Canadian Forces Base Comox he was able to fly with the Snowbirds.

During every Olympics he’s competed at in 2010, 2014 and 2018, Walker has kept his grandfather’s Royal Canadian Air Force wings in his uniform.

“Because of my grandfather I had grown up with everything being about aviation,” he said.

“My experience with the Snowbirds added more inspiration to being an aviator.”

Walker is in the midst of working on getting his helicopter license, more motivated than ever to take to the air again to pay tribute to Capt. Casey.

“Two weeks ago, she got in touch about potentially speaking at their 50th anniversary celebration,” Walker said. “If there’s any opportunity with that, I’d like to be a part of that for sure.”

And the first thing Walker would say if he was asked to speak?

Thank you, Captain Casey.

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CBC | Sports News

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Hugh Hefner to Be Buried Next to Marilyn Monroe, Son Cooper Remembers His 'Exceptional and Impactful Life'

Nearly 64 years after Marilyn Monroe appeared on the cover of the first Playboy magazine, famed publisher Hugh Hefner will be reuniting with the iconic actress, in spirit.

Hefner, who died at the age of 91 on Wednesday, will be buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles next to Monroe in the same mausoleum, ET has learned. 

Hefner famously bought the crypt adjacent to the Some Like It Hot star 25 years ago for $ 75,000. 

The Playboy founder will be joining several other huge stars who are buried at the secluded cemetery, including Truman Capote, James Coburn, Rodney Dangerfield, Eva and Zsa Zsa Gabor, Merv Griffin, Dean Martin, Natalie Wood and Farrah Fawcett, to name just a few.

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'Deadpool 2' Actress Zazie Beetz Remembers Stunt Driver Joi 'JK' Harris: 'My Heart Is Breaking'

Zazie Beetz is paying tribute to Joi “SJ” Harris, the stuntwoman who died on Monday while performing a motorcycle stunt on set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver, Canada.

It is thought that Harris was the stunt double for Beetz, who is portraying the mutant Domino in the action film. Earlier that day, Beetz was seen on a black Ducati motorcycle shooting scenes.

MORE: Deadpool 2 Stunt Driver Killed on Set Identified as Joi ‘SK’ Harris, the First Black Woman Road Racer

“On Monday we tragically lost one of our own — Joi SJ Harris,” the actress wrote in a handwritten posted to Instagram on Wednesday night. “My heart has been breaking the past two days and I have been searching what to say or do.”

Beetz continued: “I know that what I feel is nothing compared to what her loved ones, friends + family, are feeling. My heart and my love goes out to her and them all. The cast and crew send peace, healing, and their deepest condolences.”

Deadpool 2 was Harris’ first job as a stunt driver. On her website, she promoted herself as “the first licensed African American women in U.S. history to actively compete in sanctioned motorcycle road racing events.”

EXCLUSIVE: Prison Break Star Dominic Purcell Opens Up About Gruesome On-Set Injuries — ‘I Dodged a Bullet’

Eyewitnesses told the Vancouver Sun that around 8 a.m. on Monday, Harris was filming the stunt when she lost control of her bike, and jumped a curb and crashed into Shaw Tower, across from Canada Place. The outlet also reported that Harris was treated by ambulance personnel but died at the scene.

In addition to Beetz, Ryan Reynolds also paid tribute to Harris in a heartfelt post on Twitter. “Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew while filming Deadpool [2],” wrote Reynolds, who’s reprising his role as Wade in the superhero sequel. “We’re heartbroken, shocked and devastated… but recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment.”

WATCH: Ryan Reynolds Gives First Look at Zazie Beetz as Domino in Deadpool 2

“My heart pours out to them, along with each and every person she touched in this world,” the 40-year-old actor added.

Deadpool 2 resumed production on Wednesday, days after Harris’ death.

WATCH: Ryan Reynolds Perfectly Reacts to Deadpool Oscar Snub — See What He Said!


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