Two-time Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski dies in avalanche

FILE PHOTO: FRANCE'S POMAGALSKI HOLDS HER WORLD CUP TROPHY AT THE ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP FINALS IN BARDONECCHIA.
FILE PHOTO: France's Julie Pomagalski smiles as she holds her World Cup trophy at the Alpine skiing World Cup finals in Bardonecchia March 14, 2004. Pomagalski was crowned 2004 World Cup Snowboard winner. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty/File Photo

March 26, 2021

Two-time Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski of France died in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. She was 40.

The French Ski Federation announced Pomagalski’s death on Wednesday. The organization said she died Tuesday.

Media reports said police in Uri, Switzerland, were uncertain of why the avalanche occurred.

“Suddenly there was an avalanche for reasons that are still unknown,” the police statement said. “As a result, three people slid down the slope with the avalanche. One person was slightly injured and flown by Rega (air rescue) to Kantonsspital Uri hospital. The other two people were completely covered. Any help came too late for them.”

Pomagalski competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and 2006 in Torino. She finished sixth in parallel giant slalom in both.

Pomagalski won a gold medal in snowboard cross in the 1999 world championships.

France’s Olympic organization paid tribute to Pomagalski on Twitter.

“All thoughts of the France Olympique team and the CNOSF go to Julie Pomagalski’s family, to those close to her, to @FedFranceSki. The tragic death of Julie, snowboard world champion and Olympian, leaves the France OLY team in mourning for one of their own.”

-Field Level Media