Extreme skier Matilda Rapaport dies during filming for Ubisoft's Steep

The 30-year-old pro skier got caught in an avalanche, suffering oxygen deprivation and brain damage.


Professional extreme skier Matilda Rapaport was killed after getting caught in an avalanche while filming a promo video for Steep, Ubisoft's upcoming extreme sports game. She was 30 years old.

Red Bull, Rapaport's sponsor, spoke to The Guardian (via GameSpot) regarding circumstances surrounding her death. The shoot took place outside the resort town of Farellones in Santiago, Chile, following a snowstorm. A freak avalanche occurred on July 14, trapping Rapaport. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died from brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation on July 18.

"Matilda was an extraordinary athlete, traveling the world to find her passion, ride steep terrain and share her bright smile," a representative from Red Bull said in a statement.

"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," Ubisoft wrote in a statement. "Our hearts and thoughts go out to her husband and all her other family during this difficult time."

Rapaport's tragic passing comes at a critical time for extreme skiing. Powder magazine published an editorial last December opining that pros took too many risks. Two years ago, pro skiers Jean-Philippe Auclair and Carl Andreas Fransson were found dead following an avalanche on San Lorenzo mountains.

Rapaport herself had a close call with an avalanche back in 2014 in Alaska. One of her final Instagram posts showed a short video of the location where she was shooting Steep's promo video.

Although she is gone, Rapaport's legacy lives on. She won the Xtreme Verbier event at the 2013 Freeride World Tour, has been featured in a number of movies including Shades of Winter and Pure, will be featured in the upcoming film Between, and penned articles for Women's Health magazine.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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