Swedish free-skier dies in Chile avalanche

Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:27pm EDT
 
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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Swedish professional extreme skier Matilda Rapaport has died after being caught in an avalanche in the Andes mountains near Chile's capital Santiago, her sponsor Red Bull said on Monday.

Rapaport, who was 30 years old, was skiing in a film shoot outside the resort town of Farellones on Thursday after a major snowstorm when the avalanche occurred. She died later in hospital after suffering oxygen deprivation and brain damage.

"Matilda was an extraordinary athlete, traveling the world to find her passion, ride steep terrain and share her bright smile," Red Bull said in a statement.

Rapaport was an established part of the freeride skiing circuit, in which athletes rapidly descend steep, rocky mountain faces, and she had appeared in many ski films and magazines.

Her death occurred nearly two years after the Chilean avalanche deaths of famed extreme skiers Jean-Philippe Auclair, a Canadian, and Carl Andreas Fransson, a Swede.

It also comes during a time of reflection within the extreme skiing community regarding the dangers of the sport. In December, skiing magazine Powder published a feature article asking if professional skiers were taking too many risks. Rapaport appeared on the cover.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Mary Milliken)