Former world champion snowboarder, Julie Pomagalski, was killed in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. Pomagalski competed in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2006 Turin Games. She won gold in the snowboard cross at the world championships in 1999.
Pomagalski, 40, was in the backcountry with two other people on Tuesday. A guide, Bruno Cutelli, also died in the avalanche.
According to a local police report, Pomagalski and Cutelli were coming down a steep section of the Gemsstock summit when the slide was triggered. They were ‘completely buried’ while the third person suffered only ‘light’ injuries and escaped.
The French Olympic team offered its condolences on Twitter.
“The tragic death of Julie, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, leaves the French Olympic team in mourning for one of its own.”