Friday, May 29, 2009

Former Olympic Snowbording Champion dies in a climbing fall

Former Olympic Snowboarding Champion Katrine Ruby dies in a climbing fall accident last friday at Mont Blacat at the age of 31. She's a former Olympic snowboarding champion who had been training to become a mountain guide.

Ruby was roped to other climbers when she and some members of the group fell into a deep crack in the glacier on the way down the mountain, Chamonix police official Laurent Sayssac said.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon called Ruby an "exceptional sportswoman."

"Karine incarnated the emergence of snowboarding in France," Fillon said in a statement. "The people of France will hold on to the memory of her talent and her joie de vivre."

Ruby won a gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a silver in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. She was a six-time world champion with 65 snowboard World Cup victories.