The Brophy College Preparatory teen, who was hit by a car over the weekend and died yesterday from his injuries, has Olympic family roots dating back to 1960 and what is now known as "The Forgotten Miracle."
Robert Mayasich, 18, a budding young athlete and from all media accounts a stand-up guy, was hit by a car while competing in a 24-hour endurance race over the weekend and died yesterday at a Phoenix hospital.
Mayasich's grandfather was an athlete, too.
In fact, John Mayasich is a hockey legend in Minnesota for his role in bringing home the gold for the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the 1960 Olympics.
John Marriucci once said of Mayasich and his college career at the University of Minnesota: "John brought college hockey to a new plateau. He was the Wayne Gretzky of his time. And today if he were playing pro hockey, he would simply be a bigger, stronger, back-checking Gretzky."
The 1960 games are often overshadowed by the 1980 Winter Olympics, when the U.S. team beat the Russians in hockey in what was later called "The Miracle on Ice."
In 1960, however, the American squad was able to do something the U.S. team couldn't do last Sunday: Beat the Canadians.
Mayasich went down as a hero in the 2-1 U.S. victory, and although he never had a pro career, his college days made him a legend in Minnesota hockey lore.
Unfortunately, his grandson's athletic accolades have been cut short, but his family says his memory will live on.
"Our dear Robby was delivered to a new life in heaven where he'll never again feel pain, never again feel sorrow, and forever feel joy and happiness as he looks down upon us for our remaining days on this earth," his father, Dan Mayasich, says in a statement. "It has been an honor, a privilege, and our greatest joy to raise this beautiful, smart, musical, and kind-hearted boy as our own."
Robert Mayasich's organs are being donated for potential transplant. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.