Julie Pomagalski, Former Olympic Snowboarder, Dies in Avalanche at Age 40

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMarch 24, 2021

Bardonecchia, ITALY:  Julie Pomagalski from France celebrates 23 February, 2006 following the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics Ladies' Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom race in Bardonecchia, Italy. Pomagalski placed sixth. AFP PHOTO JEFF HAYNES  (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo credit JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski died Tuesday in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps at the age of 40, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

The French ski federation announced the news, noting guide Bruno Cutelli also died in the avalanche.

Pomagalski was a two-time Olympian, competing in parallel giant slalom in 2002 at Salt Lake City and 2006 in Turin.

The French athlete won gold at the 1999 world championships in snowboard cross.

"The tragic death of Julie, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, leaves the French Olympic team in mourning for one of its own," the French Olympic team said on Twitter (h/t the Associated Press).

Julie's grandfather, Jean Pomagalski, invented the first ski lift in 1934, according to Emily Shiffer of Women's Health.