Karine RUBY

It was one of the most shocking news, which hit the snowboard scene in 2009, when rumours about the tragic death of Karine Ruby (31) of France verified.

It was Friday, May 29th, which ever since is one of those black-letter days everyone would wish to haven't happen. The former Olympic champion (1998) who also had grabbed Silver four years later, died following a mountain accident.

Ruby fell into a crevasse while climbing Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, located on the French-Italian border; a training session for becoming a mountain guide.

Due to this terrible accident, in which another climber aged 38 also met his death, the world lost one of the best snowboarders who had ever competed on the highest possible level.

In 202 World Cup starts, Ruby entered the podium 122 times, including the total of 67 victories; a record no one ever has achieved again. In addition the friendly and outgoing athlete had 17 World Championships starts to her belt of which she claimed medals ten times, six of them coloured golden.

She put an end to her career after the 2006 Olympics where she was kicked out in the quarter finals of the snowboard cross event; about twelve years after her first World Cup start, eight years after her biggest success at the Nagano Winter Games which featured the first ever Olympic snowboard events.

In the end, the dream of staying connected with the mountains turned out to be the destiny of this exceptional sport woman.

As moving images can be better than written words, visit this link to watch a tribute movie, French sport journalist and close friend Franck Pedretti edited for her and her family. Rest in peace Karine!