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.
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”.
This is so so sad - i watched her climb in a competition recently. She had a real joy and confidence in her climbing https://t.co/nqWCHxi33f
— Tony Tassell (@TonyTassell) June 15, 2020
Tragic news today morning. Young French climber Luce Douady died during approach to climbing route in Le Luisset/St Pancrasse in France. She was 16. I had chance to meet her last year in Vail on @IFSClimbing World tour. Au revoir Luce. pic.twitter.com/MH2O9a37h4
— Slobodan Mišković 🧗♂️ (@xsloba) June 15, 2020
So sad to see Luce Douady has passed away after a fall, serious talent with her whole life ahead of her.
— Martin (@quevega) June 15, 2020
So sorry to hear about Luce Douady's tragic death. A very inspirational climber that left us way too soon. The #climbing community will remember you. Her performance in the IFSC was inspirational and I'll always remember the arm shake psych before her climbs.
— Gabriel (@Gabriel66048267) June 15, 2020
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.”