Olympic hopeful Luce Douady has died at the age of 16 after falling during a climb in France. Her death was announced by the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing, who put out a touching statement paying tribute to the climbing prodigy.
"It's with great sadness that the climbing community learned this Sunday of the death of one of their own. Luce Douady, 16 years old and young hope of French climbing, was the victim of an accident in a passage equipped with a handrail between two climbing sectors on a cliff near Crolles during an outing with friends," the statement read. It went on to call her "a very promising young athlete" who was an asset to the French climbing team. "At only 16, the future was before her. This terrible news hit her training comrades, her coaches and her club, Chambéry Escalade hard. But today, the whole federation is in mourning."
The statement went on to call Douady "brilliant in competition," before citing some of her accolades. These included taking 3rd place at the European Difficulty Championship 2019, as well as the world champion of young boulders in 2019 at Arco and 5th at the end of her first stage of the World Cup of boulders in Vail that same year. "Douady was in love with all facets of climbing, capable of major achievements."
Other reports indicated that Douady lost her footing when trying to navigate a path between two different sectors of a cliff. She was with several of her friends at the time, and numerous other reports also indicate she fell nearly 500 feet. As of Tuesday, her exact cause of death hasn't been made public.
The IFSC and the whole climbing community mourns the tragic loss of 16-year-old French athlete Luce Douady.June 15, 2020
The International Federation of Sport Climbing also called Douady "a young, brilliant and talented athlete" in a statement on Monday, via CNN. "The IFSC's thoughts and prayers are with Luce's family and friends at this tragic time." An exceptional athlete, Douady was expected to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, which are delayed until 2021.