July 30, 2018 / 12:42 PM / a year ago

Former Olympic champion Skofterud dies in jet-ski accident

FILE PHOTO: Norway's Vibeke Skofterud races to a third place finish in the women's 15 km skiathlon race during the Cross Country World Cup in Canmore, Alberta, December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Todd Korol

(Reuters) - Olympic cross-country skiing gold medalist Vibeke Skofterud has died aged 38 following a jet-skiing accident, the Norwegian Ski Federation confirmed on Monday.

The Norwegian Skofterud was reported missing on Saturday and her body was found by a rescue team on Sunday near the island of St Helena in southern Norway, the BBC reported.

“It’s an unthinkable tragedy that our life-loving Vibeke is gone. Our thoughts go to Vibeke’s family and her closest,” national team director Vidar Lofshus said.

Skofterud won the 4x5 kilometer cross-country skiing relay gold at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and was twice world champion - in 2005 and 2011 - in the discipline.

She finished on the podium 15 times at world cup events before her retirement in 2015.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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