Olympic Snowboarder Dies in Climbing Accident

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 7:57 AM CDT
Karine Ruby of France clears a gate during the women's parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in Park City, in which she won the silver medal.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong. File)
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(Newser) – Former Olympic snowboarding champ Karine Ruby of France died yesterday after she and two fellow climbers tumbled into a glacial crevasse while descending Mont Blanc in France. One of her companions survived the fall, but sustained serious injuries and was air-lifted to the hospital. The 31-year-old Ruby, who won a gold medal in 1998 and a silver in 2002, was training to be a mountain guide.

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