Matilda Rapaport, influential big-mountain skier, has died at 30

Matilda Rapaport, influential big-mountain skier, has died at 30

It is with great sadness that we report the death of 30-year-old Swedish big-mountain skier Matilda Rapaport.

Rapaport was buried in an avalanche while participating in a commercial film shoot in Farellones, Chile on Thursday, July 14. She was rescued following the incident and airlifted to a hospital in Santiago; reports suggest she arrived at the hospital within and hour and a half of being buried. Rapaport’s condition was critical; she was in a coma due to complications resulting from a lack of oxygen.

Rapaport in Haines, Alaska. Photo: Oskar Enander for Red Bull

Rapaport in Engelberg, Switzerland. Photo: Mattias Fredriksson for Red Bull

Farellones is located at 7,874 feet in the Andes Mountains, about 22 miles from Santiago.

On Monday, July 18, Rapaport succumbed to her injuries. Her mother Annika and her husband—Swedish World Cup slalom skier Mattias Hargin—were at her side.

Rapaport was a successful big-mountain skier who made her mark all over the world; her accolades include many noteworthy results on the Freeride World Tour: 2nd at Haines, Alaska in 2016; 3rd at Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 2016; 2nd at Chamonix in 2014; 1st at Verbier Xtreme in 2013. Rapaport also spent much time working with esteemed film production companies including Shades of Winter; the group is set to release its latest film Between this October. That film will feature some of the world’s best female skiers—including Rapaport—and other female extreme sports athletes.

“It is a terrible event with a sad outcome which is very hard to take in,” said Tommy Eliasson Winter, the Swedish Ski Association’s head of alpine sports. “Our thoughts are with Matilda’s loved ones and we will do everything we can to support them at this difficult time.”

Between — Official Trailer

Rapaport’s second place run from Haines, Alaska, 2016

Rapaport will be dearly missed by all corners of the ski community. Remembrances from professional skiers and industry icons are rolling in via social media; we have embedded many of these notes below and will continue to update this page as new tributes are posted. FREESKIER extends its deepest condolences to the Rapaport family, to Mattias Hargin and to all those who were touched by the departed.

Update: July 20, 2016

Various sources—including the International Business Times, BBC and Swedish news site Expressen—are now saying Rapaport was filming a commercial for a not-yet-released extreme sports video game titled Steep.

Steep is owned by Ubisoft, a video game developer company based out of Rennes, France, which released the following statement to Expressen:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Matilda Rapaport’s death. After a film production in Chile on Thursday, July 14 caught her in an avalanche. Despite the care and treatment days after, it was not possible to save her life.

Matilda’s courage, passion and desire to share the sport she loved with the world was an inspiration to other athletes, and for all of us. This tragic incident has touched us deeply.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to her husband and all her other family during this difficult time.”

Rapaport posted a photo on July 14—the day she was caught in the avalanche that would ultimately take her life—with the hashtag #STEEPgame.

The skiing community remembers Matilda Rapaport:

Fly high beautiful snow angel ! We will always remember you @matildarapaport ! #inspireLikeMatilda

A photo posted by Shades of Winter (@shadesofwinter) on

@matildarapaport was a friend, but more than anything, she was my biggest inspiration. As an athlete, it can feel like your personality counts more than your athleticism. Matilda's personality was something that I felt I could finally relate to. Matilda showed me that it's okay to be quiet. It's okay to take your training seriously. Okay to not party. Okay to like great food and clothes. Okay to be sad when you lose and happy when you win. I'm going to miss her dearly. I'll miss her blog posts, her professionalism at competitions…Miss those moments where she would be so giddy when her love did well at a ski race. I cant imagine how those closest to her can survive this. It feels unfair. All I can think is to continue to try to be like Matilda.

A photo posted by Hadley Hammer (@hadhammer) on

You will be so missed but never forgotten❤️ My thoughts are with the family

A photo posted by Oscar Scherlin (@oscarscherlin) on

You came into my life to late. And now you left me to early. You know a real friend when you meet them. It's like you always known each other, you laugh about the same things, you talk about serious things openly like if they no longer seems as heavy. My life continues on with the knowledge that yours was as happy as ones life should be. I was ones part of your special day, and the thought that I could have made your life as happy as it was brings me endless amounts of joy. My heart will forever think of you when I see snow and mountains. I will always make sure to think of those few precious moments we got to spend with each other planning your big day. To think of how much joy it gave us both. The day came, and you were every bit as beautiful as we had hoped you would be. Now it breakes my heart knowing these precious moments were just there that one time, and that our journey ends with those precious moments there and then. Matilda, I will forever be grateful for your support and your loving embrace. Thank you for everything. Your are forever in my heart. #foreverinmyheart #matildarapaport

A photo posted by WILLIAM WAHLSTRÖM (@william_wahlstrom) on

My heart broke when I heard the news about @matildarapaport passing away this morning. Another beautiful person has been taken by the snow. I was lucky, so lucky, to spend a brief week with Matilda last winter. We were on a busy photoshoot.. so our days were full of working and skiing. But our evenings were spent chatting late into the night. We drank lots of wine and talked about everything other than skiing. Life, love, having sisters, and mostly her upcoming wedding (she got married in April 2016). I'm not sure why our paths crossed, but I can honestly say that she had a huge impact on me. Not just because of her incredible talent as a athlete, but because she was nice. So so so nice, and kind and warm. So easy to talk to. Simply, just a really wonderful person.

A photo posted by Zoya in Revelstoke, BC (@zoyalynch) on

Looking down, from somewhere up high. R.I.P. Matilda

A photo posted by Markus Eder (@markus1eder) on

Getting to know these #freeride x #freeski ladies has been very inspiring. I express with a challenaged heart, that we lost a great spirit today. I met @matildarapaport this winter and she touched my heart with her genuine nature, healthy lifestyle and focused energy. We had some fun yoga, meditation and hotel smoothie sessions with @evelojna and @kjerstibuaas. She was very welcoming on the #fwt and I enjoyed our meals, strategy chats and powder riding together. I never would have guessed, months later two of two incredibly talented ladies would be angels from above. Avalanches are the real deal and even the worlds best equipment will not be able to save everyone from this powerful life force. Here is a photo from my most memorable session with @matildarapaport and the ladies. Pow laps all day, giggles and so many smiles! We were all so good at staying safe with our turns and looking after each other. I love you sister and my thoughts and prayers are with your family and husband.

A photo posted by Chanelle Sladics (@chanellesladics) on

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