The snowboarding community has been left devastated after iconic Slovenian star Marko Grilc tragically died while filming in Austria, at the age of 38.
Grilc - who has been a prominent figure in the freestyle snowboarding scene for more than two decades, was reportedly killed after falling and hitting his head on a snow-covered rock.
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The Slovenian was part of a filming team exploring the terrain in the Austrian ski resort of Sölden when the tragedy struck.
He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and died from fatal head injuries sustained during the tragedy.
Efforts to resuscitate Grilc by his team and employees of the resort ultimately failed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two of Grilc’s sponsors – Burton Snowboards and GoPro – shared the heartbreaking news of his death via social media.
“With a heavy heart we share that yesterday, our dear friend and Burton team rider Marko “Grilo” Grilc passed away in an accident while snowboarding,” Burton Snowboards tweeted.
“Our heart goes out to his fiancé Nina and their children, family, and friends, who all shared his love and passion for snowboarding.”
A statement from GoPro read: “We are saddened to hear the news of Marko Grilc’s passing. He was a beloved member of the GoPro family and inspired us not only as a professional athlete, but as a father and an amazing human.
“He was a legend and will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
We are saddened to hear the news of Marko Grilc’s passing. He was a beloved member of the GoPro family and inspired us not only as a professional athlete, but as a father and an amazing human.
He was a legend and will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family pic.twitter.com/LJZthtgiRN
— GoPro (@GoPro) November 24, 2021
Snowboarding has lost another one. Ride in peace forever Marko 💔✌️https://t.co/KEFDEkEvvI
— Matt Stenquist (@MattStenquist) November 25, 2021
RIP Marko Grilc, Slovenian Snowboarding Legend 😞
— Gramatik🍌 (@Gramatik) November 24, 2021
— Mark McMorris (@markmcmorris) November 25, 2021
— Cardiff18 (@Cardiff181) November 24, 2021
Rip Marko.. ride in peace 😥
Snowboarder Marko Grilc Killed in Austria https://t.co/3IMPpxGLLa
— 🔮 (@alexandarnk) November 24, 2021
Marko Grilc was a freestyle snowboarding icon
Grilc is survived by his fiancée and two children.
The International Ski Federation’s (FIS) website states that the Slovenian made his competitive debut at the FIS Junior World Championships in Finland in 2002.
He recorded nine podium finishes over the course of an 11-year career highlighted by victories in Big Air events at the European Cup in Croatia in 2004 and the World Cup in London in 2010.
Following his final appearance in Colorado's World Cup at Copper Mountain in 2013, Grilc turned to film where he's continued to make a name for himself in the sport.
The 38-year-old documented many of his trips on his YouTube channel, with his last video ’Disconnected’ – posted in March earlier this year – showcasing his time snowboarding in the Prokletije mountain range, which borders Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro.
“Snowboarding is so simple, it’s basically just shredding down the mountain on a piece of wood,” Grilc says towards the end of the video.
“Just the stoke that you get from riding, from doing a sick line, and the happiness I saw out here was unreal. I’m sure this crew of people will have stories to tell for years to come.”
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