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Olympic Snowboarding Champion Karine Ruby Tragically Killed in Climbing Accident

By May 30, 2009

Olympic Snowboarder Karine RubyFormer Olympic Snowboarding champion Karine Ruby was tragically killed in a climbing accident Friday. Ruby, a 31 year-old French citizen, was climbing on Europe's famed Mont Blanc as part of her training to become a mountain guide. As is common in dangerous high-alpine environments, Ruby and the other members of her group were roped together for safety (the thought being that if one climber slips and falls, the others will be able to stop the slide); unfortunately, the fatal slide was unable to be stopped, resulting in Ruby and several others falling into a deep crevasse, or crack, in the glacier.

A 38 year-old man from Paris was also killed in the accident, while a 27 year-old climber was seriously injured, requiring a helicopter to transport him off the mountain for medical attention.

Karine Ruby won the gold medal in giant slalom at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and also took home a silver medal in parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Following her Olympic successes, she competed in Snowboardcross events, winning a bronze medal at the 2005 Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado.

Truly a sad day for the snowboarding community, and our thoughts and prayers are with Karine's family, friends, and loved ones.

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