Olympic Snowboard Champion Karine Ruby Memorialized in France

Posted By: The Ski Channel on May 29, 2009 10:41 am

Karine Ruby, the first Olympic snowboarding champion, died earlier today in a climbing accident on France’s Mont Blanc. She was just 31.

According French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Ruby was ‘exceptional.’ ”Karine incarnated the emergence of snowboarding in France,” Fillon said in a statement. “The people of France will hold on to the memory of her talent and her joie de vivre.”

Ruby first made history with her gold medal in the giant slalom event at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and later garnered the silver in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Her incredible feats didn’t stop there. Ruby was also a six-time World Champion, and notched 65 snowboard World Cup wins.

Ruby retired from competitive snowboarding after the 2006 Turin Olympics, where she was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the snowboardcross event.

An amazing athlete, pioneer and adventurous heart, Ruby will be sorely missed.



photo: AP