Karine Ruby, Olympic Champion snowboarder falls to death

 
 

Karine Ruby, the former Olympic snowboarding champion had been training to become a mountain guide, died on Friday in a climbing accident on Mont Blanc. She was 31.

Chamonix police official spokesperson, Laurent Sayssac said, "Ruby was roped to two other climbers when she and the members of the group fell into a crevasse while descending the mountain close to the Tour Rond."

"A 38-year-old man from the Paris region died in the fall, and a 27-year-old man with serious injuries was evacuated by helicopter and hospitalized", Sayssac added. He died in hospital that night.

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.

She retired after the 2006 Turin Olympics, where she was eliminated in the quarter finals of the snowboardcross event.

Since then, Ruby had been training to become a mountain guide and was expected to qualify this summer.

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