“Shining star”

Snowboarding champion Estelle Balet, 21, killed in avalanche

Estelle Balet on April 2, 2016 . (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty-one-year old Swiss athlete Estelle Balet, who had just recently won the Freeride World Tour, was killed in an avalanche on Tuesday. Balet was shooting a film off piste in Switzerland, above Orsieres. Although she was wearing special safety equipment — including an “airbag” and a device that helps rescuers locate people when they are caught in an avalanche — and despite “immediate efforts to revive her,” she died at the scene, according to a police statement. “An investigation has been started to determine the causes of the accident,” they added.

“Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent … bringing home her second title as World Champion just a few weeks ago in Verbier,” the Freeride World Tour wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we send our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time.”

Balet, who grew up in the Swiss Alps and took part in several major competitions every winter, had eerily told Swiss television earlier this month that she regularly felt “the fear of an avalanche” as she was snowboarding for a film shoot.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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