Swedish skier Matilda Rapaport has died while recording footage for Ubisoft’s upcoming release, Steep. The 30-year old athlete was skiing outside Farellones, in the Andes mountains near Chile’s capital Santiago, when she was caught in an avalanche.
Rapaport was rushed to hospital following the incident, but her injuries – including oxygen deprivation and brain damage – were too severe.
Her sponsor Red Bull describes Matilda as “an extraordinary athlete, traveling the world to find her passion, ride steep terrain and share her bright smile”. Rapaport was an established personality in the freeride skiing circuit, winning the world’s most prestigious and difficult freeride competition – the Freeride World Tour Xtreme Verbier – in 2013, after having entered the event as a wildcard.
She was a well-recognised face of the sport, gracing the covers (and pages!) of multiple magazines and featuring in several freeski movies. In 2014, Rapaport was caught in an avalanche in Alaska, but faced her fears and returned to big mountain challenges the following year. She was in Chile filming a promotional piece for the upcoming skiing game, which was introduced at this year’s E3 with a terrifying accident scene.
Publisher Ubisoft told Gamespot the studio is saddened by the loss of this “remarkable athlete”.
Matilda’s courage, passion, and desire to share the sport she loved with the world served as an inspiration for other athletes and for us all. This tragic accident has deeply touched us. Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband and her wider family at this difficult time.
It’s a time of reflection for extreme winter sports – ski magazine Powder recently ran a feature article on the risks that professional skiers take while chasing their dreams. Rapaport appeared on the cover.