Former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski dies aged 40 in avalanche

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Former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski of France has died at the age of just 40.

The French Olympic team have expressed their sadness on Twitter while sending their thoughts to the family and friends of the snowboarding veteran.

Police in the Swiss canton of Uri have said that four people had been free-riding down Gemsstock at the time of the avalanche, with guide Bruno Cutelli also passing away as another was left with injuries.

The Frenchwoman competed at both the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games for her country after winning gold at the 1999 World Championships to kickstart her career.

The Guardian quote police as saying: “Suddenly there was an avalanche for reasons that are still unknown.

"As a result, three people slid down the slope with the avalanche.

"One person was slightly injured and flown by Rega to Kantonsspital Uri hospital.

"The other two people were completely covered. Any help came too late for them.”

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  • The statement from the French Olympic team read: "All thoughts of the France Olympique team and the CNOSF go to Julie Pomagalski's family.

    "To those close to her, and to @FedFranceSki.

    "The tragic death of Julie, snowboard world champion and Olympian, leaves the France OLY team in mourning for one of their own."

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    • Olympics

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