Former Olympic Snowboarder Julie Pomagalski Dies At 40 In Swiss Alps Avalanche

  • Former Olympic snowboard Julie Pomagalski of France died at age 40 on Tuesday.
  • She was caught in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps with a guide,Bruno Cutelli, who also died.
  • The two-time Olympian competed at the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games.

On Tuesday, March 23, former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski died at age 40 in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps.

The two-time Olympian represented her home country of France in the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, where she finished sixth in the parallel giant slalom. She also competed at the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy, according to the Olympic Channel.

Besides competing at the Olympics, Julie was also the 1999 snowboard cross world champion and won silver at the 2003 Worlds in parallel giant slalom. She also came from a famous skiing family—Julie was the granddaughter of Jean Pomagalski, who invented the first ski lift in 1934 and founded the brand Poma in 1947.

Although the French ski federation did not specify exactly where she was caught in the avalanche, French and Swiss media widely reported that the avalanche took place on Gemsstock mountain in the Swiss canton of Uri, per ESPN.

Julie was also with a guide, Bruno Cutelli, who died in the avalanche as well. Their bodies were found by emergency services in the Swiss Alps.

The French Olympic team offered its condolences on Twitter, writing, “The tragic death of Julie, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, leaves the French Olympic team in mourning for one of its own.”

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