In what seems like a tragically familiar scene in snowboarding, athletes are tumbling off the slopes despite receiving training on the sport’s most challenging terrain.
Marko Grilc, a 28-year-old snowboarder from Iceland who was competing in a major snowboard cross competition in Italy on Sunday, died after hitting his head while attempting a jump, according to a post on his website. Grilc was competing for another trophy when he fell, landing head first on the snow.
Screams from spectators alerted the ski patrol to the fact that there was an athlete who had injured himself, but attempts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful.
According to his website, the six-time Iceland skiing gold medalist, was “in a very good and experienced period of the season,” and had recently placed first in a race in the resort of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, less than two hours’ drive from Milan. His time as the top snowboarder at European ski races had been even longer, he having won four consecutive gold medals for the Norwegian Ski Association and World Cup races.
As a snowboarder and freestyle athlete, Grilc was ranked among the best in the world, having earned his national gold medal in the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, the 2005 World Cup in the Alpine cross-country race, and the 2006 and 2010 snowboard cross World Cups.
Grilc’s death comes after accidents like that of a group of snowboarders from New Zealand, who were killed while attempting a backside jump in Canada on Nov. 5. Two snowboarders from the UK were killed just three days later on a snowy and steep slope in a resort near Lake Tahoe.
The most famous recent example of snowboarding fatalities were that of Hannah Teter, who died in a snowboarding accident at Cairns Airport, Australia in January 2013. Two weeks before, Swedish freestyle skier Anna Dahlqvist died in a crash during the World Cup in May.
Read the full story at The Independent.
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