VIENNA: Two promising junior members of the US ski team were killed on Monday in an avalanche while skiing in the western Austrian resort of Soelden, the team said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
The two—Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19,—“were among a group of six athletes free-skiing at the Austrian resort,” the US ski team said in a statement.
“The other four skied out of the slide.
“Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport—both on the race course and skiing the mountain,” the statement quoted US Ski and Snowboard Association head and CEO Tiger Shaw as saying.
“Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them.”
Four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn tweeted her condolences alongside pictures of the young skiers.
“An avalanche took their lives today. It is a tragic loss,” Vonn wrote. “My prayers go out to them and their families.”
The International Ski Federation also offered condolences on the social media site “to the Berlack and Sstle families, the US Ski Team and all the friends of the young athletes.”