Karine Ruby, a former Olympic snowboarding champion died Friday in a mountain accident on the Tour de Ronde of the Mont Blanc massif near Chamonix. Ruby was roped to five other climbers when she and some members of the group fell into a crevasse at appproximately 3,300 meters of altitude on the Glacier du Géant on the way down the mountain, Chamonix police official Laurent Sayssac said. A 38-year-old man from the Paris region also died in the fall, and a 27-year-old man was evacuated by helicopter with serious injuries and hospitalized in Geneva.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon called Ruby an "exceptional sportswoman"."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".
The 31-year-old dominated Snowboarding for almost a decade. Ruby won a gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a silver in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. She was a six-time world champion with 67 snowboard World Cup victories and 122 Podiums. She retired after the 2006 Turin Olympics, where she was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the snowboardcross event.
Ruby had since been working toward becoming a mountain guide and was expected to finish her training in the coming weeks.
Click here to Relive Karine Ruby's victory in Nagano