Snowboard Champ Killed in Avalanche

Estelle Balet was filming at the time
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2016 1:23 PM CDT
Snowboard Champ Killed in Avalanche
In This March 9, 2015 file photo Freestyle Snowboarder Estelle Balet poses in front of the vallee du Rhone in Vercorin in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland.   (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone, file via AP)

Estelle Balet, a 21-year-old champion snowboarder, was killed in an avalanche Tuesday morning. The Swiss athlete was in the Alps, filming above the village of Orsieres in Switzerland, when the avalanche struck. Despite the fact that she was wearing safety equipment, including a helmet and an airbag meant to keep her above sliding snow, she died at the scene, police said, according to CNN. She had been following another snowboarder, who escaped the avalanche, the AP reports; rescuers pulled her from the snow and attempted to resuscitate her.

"Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent ... bringing home her second title as World Champion just a few weeks ago in Verbier," said the Freeride World Tour, a global extreme snowboarding event, in a statement; Balet also won last year's event. "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we send our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time." (Read more avalanche stories.)

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