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Karine Ruby

Karine Ruby

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Former Olympic champion Ruby dies in climbing fall16 hours agoCHAMONIX, France (AP) — Karine Ruby, a former Olympic snowboarding champion, died Friday in a climbing accident on France's famed Mont Blanc.

She was 31.Ruby was roped to other climbers when she fell into a deep crack, police said.

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Pierre Bouquin said other climbers fell into the crevasse but provided no further details.French Prime Minister Francois Fillon called Ruby an "exceptional sportswoman.""Karine incarnated the emergence of snowboarding in France," Fillon said in a statement.

"The people of France will hold on to the memory of her talent and her joie de vivre."Ruby won a gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a silver in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

She was a six-time world champion with 65 snowboard World Cup victories.She retired after the 2006 Turin Olympics, where she was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the snowboardcross event.Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

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