At Olympics, a Canadian teacher mourns Florida victims
Dave Greszczyszyn of Canada starts his first run during the men's skeleton competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:35AM EST
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of -- Dave Greszczyszyn is not an American. He's not from Florida. He doesn't know any of the 17 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a high school not far from Miami.
But he is a schoolteacher, and that's one of the reasons why news of the latest U.S. school shooting nearly moved him to tears.
The first thing Greszczyszyn found out about Thursday morning (Wednesday evening EST) when he awoke hours before racing for Canada in the men's skeleton race at the Pyeongchang Olympics was the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Even while half a world away, it left him wondering again why these things happen.
"When I woke up I looked at my phone and saw that," Greszczyszyn said after his race Thursday. "Pretty upsetting. Yeah, something's got to be done. Up in Canada, we still have some of those every once in a while, but we're pretty lucky. We don't have, I guess, the same numbers. But any time there's something like that in a school, it's obviously not good."
The shooting in Parkland, Florida, was at least the seventh school shooting in the U.S. so far in 2018 alone.
Greszczyszyn has taught all over the world -- science, physical education and English. He got his degree in Australia, taught in South Korea in 2005, quit his teaching job in Canada to pursue his sliding career and still works as a substitute teacher when his schedule allows. At 38, he's closer to the end of his sliding career than the beginning, and a return to teaching is possible.
At least one of those killed in the Florida shooting was a teacher, officials said.
"I don't know what we can do," Greszczyszyn said, his eyes red. "I don't know. Laws only do so much."
Greszczyszyn was 21st after the first two runs of the competition, which ends Friday.