Karine Ruby, who became one of snowboarding’s first stars when she won a gold medal for France at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, died on Friday morning in a climbing accident in the Mont Blanc Massif near Chamonix, France. She was 31.
She was killed after falling into a 20m crevasse while leading two climbers on a tour through the Tour Ronde section, said Captain Benoit Tonanny of the gendarmerie in Chamonix.
One other climber was killed, and the third was in critical condition when he was airlifted to a hospital.
Ruby, who had competed at the highest level since she was a teenager, won two Olympic medals, six world championship titles and 67 snowboard World Cup victories.
“In the snowboarding world, she was an unavoidable icon,” Joel Franitch, the French Skiing Federation’s director of snowboarding, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a huge loss for the sport.”
Franitch said that snowboarding in France owed much of its popularity to Ruby’s burst onto the scene in the late 1990s.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon echoed that sentiment in a statement released within hours of her death, calling her an “exceptional sportswoman” and saying that she “embodied the emergence of snowboarding in France.”
Ruby shot to fame in France during the 1998 Winter Games, the first Olympics that featured snowboarding as a medal sport. Fighting brutal weather conditions that contributed to the wipeout of seven of the 31 competitors, she became the first woman to win a medal in the new event.
She picked up silver in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, finishing behind her countrywoman Isabelle Blanc.
Since retiring after the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, where Ruby was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the snowboardcross event, Ruby had devoted herself to her passion for climbing.
She grew up in the mountainous region of Haute-Savoie, and the Alps were always her backyard. She was training to be a certified mountain guide and was expected to wrap up her training in the coming weeks.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but
Legendary batsman Everton Weekes, the last of the famed West Indies “Three Ws,” died on Wednesday at the age of 95 and was hailed as “a founding father” of the sport in the Caribbean. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) wrote on Twitter. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace.” Barbadian Weekes was part of a feared post-World War II West Indies team who also featured Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell. Walcott died in