Norwalk artist pays tribute to young hockey player killed during game

A Norwalk artist paid a touching tribute to Teddy Balkind – the 10th grade St. Luke’s school hockey player who died Thursday following a collision during a game.

5ivefingaz says that as a former young athlete himself he was shaken by the death of 16-year-old Teddy Balkind.

“He was doing something he was probably very excited about, playing and was just a kid, and his life was tragically cut short,” the artist said.

Five has been doing live painting sessions and time-lapse videos on social media throughout the pandemic. He decided to offer some solace in the best way he knew how.

“I know they were making the sticks for the hashtag Teddy, so it hit me, why not just use a hockey stick and tie it with the hashtag?” said Five.

The 38-second timelapse shows the creation of the painting from start to finish.

Five’s Facebook post has racked up more than 25,000 views and hundreds of comments. He also posted on Instagram.

The artist tried to reach Balkind’s relatives so that he could gift the painting to Teddy’s family or coaches.

“Wherever the painting ends I’m sure it will be great, to honor Teddy’s young life,” he said.

In the meantime, he hopes his art will help draw attention to the petition calling for mandatory neck protectors for young hockey players.

“I signed it, I hope a lot of other people sign it and put it in place. So something like that will never happen again,” Five said.

Catherine J. Martinez