Olympics rocked by tragic death of 16-year-old climber

Luce Douady, pictured here at the European Youth Cup in 2018.
Luce Douady competes during the finals of the European Youth Cup in 2018. (Photo by Marco Kost/Getty Images)

The sporting world is in mourning following the tragic death of future Olympian Luce Douady.

The 16-year-old climber died after falling from a cliff in the south-east of France.

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According to French media, Douady was climbing an unexplored section of cliff near Grenoble when she slipped and fell.

Her body has been recovered and an investigation into her death opened.

The exact cause of death has not been announced.

Douady won the junior world championships in 2019 and was expected to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 where climbing will make its debut.

The French Mountain Climbing Federation described her as as “brilliant in competition”, expressing “the immense sadness of the climbing community”.

“This terrible news has hit her training comrades, coaches and her club hard. But today, the entire federation is in mourning,” the FFME said.

Douady’s climbing club wrote a moving tribute on Facebook, describing Douady as a “young woman full of energy, passions and talents”.

Climbing to make Olympics debut

Sport climbing will make its debut in the Tokyo Games, which were scheduled to take place this year but have been postponed to July 23-August 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It would be mega for climbing. We would get so much more funding and have a lot more support," British Bouldering champion Imogen Horrocks told Reuters recently.

“For athletes, unless you're No.1 it's tough to get funding so you have to do other stuff which takes away from the training.”

Sport climbing at the Olympics will feature a combination of the speed, bouldering and lead disciplines so Horrocks, who only competes in bouldering, said she would give Tokyo, as well as the 2024 Paris Games, a miss.

“I won't be doing Paris. I won't be doing the mixed events as I primarily do bouldering,” she added.

“I don't do speed or lead so I can't really be part of that.”

with Reuters