SOELDEN, Austria (January 5, 2015)
U.S. Ski Team members Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19, were caught in a slide while skiing near the Rettenbach Glacier outside of Soelden. The other four skiers in the group were able to escape the avalanche unhurt.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO, Tiger Shaw, says he shares the feeling of shock and loss.
“Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport – both on the race course and skiing the mountain,” says Shaw, “Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them.”
Alpine Director, Patrick Riml, adds that the team is doing their best to carry on after the loss, planning on wearing mourning bands to honor their teammates in Tuesday’s night slalom.
“It’s a shock for everybody. Two great boys, great athletes, good skiers. They were fun to have around. We are all in shock, still. It’s very tragic.”
Berlack and Astle were both promising members of the U.S. Ski Team’s Development Team, Berlack a Burke Mountain Academy alum and Astle a former member of the Snowbird Ski Team.
The Ski Channel would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends. No life should end so soon. May they rest in peace.