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Olympics: Australia mourns death of 20-year-old Alexandrovskaya

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s winter sports community has been forced back into mourning with the sudden death of 20-year-old Olympic figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya in Moscow.

FILE PHOTO: Figure Skating – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Pair Skating short program competition – Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea – February 14, 2018 - Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor of Australia in action. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

The Australian Olympic Committee on Saturday confirmed the passing of Alexandrovskaya, who competed in the pairs with Harley Windsor at the 2018 PyeongChang Games in South Korea.

She is the second Australian Winter Olympian to die suddenly this month after snowboarder Alex Pullin drowned while spear fishing off a Gold Coast beach on July 8.

"It is enormously sad to lose Katia who was a vibrant and talented person and an incredible athlete," AOC Vice President Ian Chesterman, who was the team's chef de mission in PyeongChang, said in a statement here.

“She was quiet and humble in her manner but incredibly determined to be the best she could be.

“We are all deeply saddened to hear the news today. Life since the Games has not been easy for her and this is another timely reminder of just how fragile life is.”

Alexandrovskaya and Windsor finished 18th in PyeonChang.

They were World Junior Champions and World Junior Grand Prix Champions in 2017.

“Words cannot describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia,” Windsor wrote on his Instagram account.

“The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ken Ferris

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