Mexico’s Bermejo passes away
by Martin Merk|03 MAY 2019
Mexican forward Arunas Bermejo during a game against Australia at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B in Spain.
photo: R. Tricio
21-year-old Mexican national team forward Arunas Bermejo passed away last Thursday last week, 25 April 2019. The died of a heart attack in his bed in the morning at his apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Bermejo moved from Mexico to Lithuania last year to advance his ice hockey career and study in Vilnius. The Mexicans hoped he would rejoin the national team at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B on home ice in Mexico City but he suffered a serious shoulder injury early in the season in the Lithuanian league where he played for the Hockey Punks Vilnius and was working on his comeback for next season.

Bermejo grew up in Mexico. His father Francisco worked for many years in the Ministry of Sports while his Lithuanian mother Ausra works as a figure skating coach in Mexico. Arunas Bermejo got involved in the national team program already when he was a baby. His mother worked as a physio and translator for the Mexican U20 team when it played in Kaunas while Mexican Ice Hockey Federation President Joaquin de la Garma and his delegation sometimes took care of the baby when his mother was absent.
Arunas Bermejo (right) with the silver trophy of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group A in Taipei City.
photo: Mexican Ice Hockey Federation
“It was terrible news for us. All Mexican hockey is very said,” said de la Garma. “He was one of our best players, and just 21 years old. We had a small ceremony before the game Israel vs. Mexico on that terrible day.

“All the 2,000 persons in the rink were very sad and most of them crying. We had a minute of silence. I gave some words and we put his Mexican jerseys in the Mexican flag and also a big flowers crown with his picture.”

Mexican player Jorge Perez, who received a Tissot watch as Best Player of his team in the tournament, took the microphone at the closing ceremony to dedicate the prize to his deceased friend and will give the watch to Bermejo’s parents.
Flowers and his jersey were displayed during the recent 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B in Mexico City.
photo: Mexican Ice Hockey Federation
Also the Lithuanian delegation currently at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Kazakhstan mourned the death. “When this was reported to us, we were all shocked,” assistant coach Sarunas Kuliesius, who last year invited Bermejo to play in Vilnius, told

Bermejo played his junior hockey in Mexico before moving to the United States when he was 18 to play three seasons in the junior league Western States Hockey League for the Phoenix Knights, Lake Tahoe Icemen and Valencia Flyers. During the off-season he moved to Lithuania to start his senior hockey career.

He played for the Mexican senior national team in the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B as well as two U20 and two U18 World Championship events.