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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  • reply
    July 19, 2016 4:30 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Extreme skier Matilda Rapaport dies during filming for Ubisoft's Steep

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      July 19, 2016 4:38 PM

      She is so pretty, sad to hear the news.

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      July 19, 2016 5:25 PM

      fuck. She was an amazing skiier. #Fuck2016.

      Here's her run @ Mont Blanc earlier this year.

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        July 19, 2016 11:49 PM

        I'm sure everyone knows that's steep, but people who don't ski/snowboard don't realize that from the perspective of the rider, even the area halfway down where she was doing "glory turns" looks like it's practically straight down. The top portion pretty much looks like you're skiing down a wall.

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          July 20, 2016 6:31 AM

          yeah, videos and pictures never do justice

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      July 19, 2016 5:29 PM

      Considering the injuries and deaths apparent in the gameplay demo, that seems...sadly unsurprising?

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        July 20, 2016 12:20 AM

        Yeah, that was pretty gruesome racing people and seeing them crash into the side of a mountain in a wing suit :/

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      July 19, 2016 5:31 PM

      Want to say I remember watching her destroy the last Winter Olympics she was in. Rapaport sounds familiar.

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        July 19, 2016 6:20 PM

        Michael Rappaport was in True Romance, The 6th Day, Bamboozled, Justified. Unrelated as far as I know, however.

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      July 19, 2016 5:46 PM


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      July 19, 2016 10:12 PM

      Only 30? Damn.

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      July 20, 2016 6:18 AM

      Damn that sucks :(

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