HomeSportsJulie Pomagalski, 40-Year-Old Olympic Snowboarder, Dies in Avalanche

Julie Pomagalski, 40-Year-Old Olympic Snowboarder, Dies in Avalanche

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo credit JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Julie Pomagalski died in the Swiss Alps after an avalanche swept her and two others down the mountain on Tuesday. The French Ski Federation reported her death earlier today. However, they did not give the exact location of the incident.

Julie Pomagalski was a French Olympic snowboarder. She competed in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Pomagalski won gold while competing in the snowboard cross at the 1999 FIS Snowboarding World Championships. Pomagalski also competed in the 2006 Turin Games.

The French Ski Federation did not report the exact location of Julie Pomagalski’s death. However, the French and Swiss media reported on the avalanche. According to The New York Post, the avalanche took place on Gemsstock Mountain. That mountain is located in the Swiss canton of Uri.

Uri police reported that four French people were free-riding Gemsstock when the avalanche occurred unexpectedly. The report stated that the cause of the avalanche is unknown. It also said that three people were swept down Gemsstock. One suffered survivable injuries. The other two, including Julie Pomagalski, were completely covered. Help could not reach them in time. The second fatality was Bruno Cutelli, a guide, according to the French Ski Federation.

Julie Pomagalski was the granddaughter of Jean Pomagalski who invented the first ski lift in 1934.