French Olympic hopeful climber Luce Douady, 16, dies after cliff fall

  • French climbing federation expresses ‘immense sadness’
Luce Douady

Luce Douady was a world junior champion and Olympic hopeful for the delayed Games in Tokyo next year. Photograph: Marco Kost/Getty Images

Agence France-Presse
Published onTue 16 Jun 2020 00.46 BST

Teenage French climbing prodigy Luce Douady was killed on Sunday when she fell on a footpath in a climbing area in the French Alps, the French Mountain Climbing Federation (FFME) and its club in Chambery said.

The 16-year-old reigning world junior champion fell 150m as she and a group of friends were crossing a tricky path equipped with a handrail between two climbing areas.

“Luce was a young athlete on the French climbing team, very promising,” the FFME said on its website. “Brilliant in competition.”

She was “a lover of all facets of climbing”, the FFME said, expressing the “immense sadness of the climbing community”.

Douady was seen as one of the brightest young talents in climbing, a sport which will be introduced to the Olympics in Tokyo next year.

The site listed her competitive achievements including winning the World Youth Bouldering Championship in 2019 in Arco, Italy, and fifth place in her first appearance on the senior circuit at the Bouldering World Cup in Vail, Colorado, the same year.

“This terrible news has hit her training partners, coaches and her club, Chambery Escalade, hard. But now the whole federation is in mourning,” the climbing federation said.

The Chambery club paid tribute on its Facebook page to a “young woman full of energy, passion and talent” who was “a beautiful person”.

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