July 19 (UPI) — Olympic figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who competed for Australia at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, has died at the age of 20.
The Australian Olympic Committee on Saturday confirmed the death of Alexandrovskaya. The organization didn’t reveal the cause of her death, but Russian outlets REN TV and TASS reported that she died Friday by suicide.
Alexandrovskaya was born in Russia but obtained Australian citizenship in 2016. She competed for her adopted country in the 2018 Games with skating partner Harley Windsor and finished 18th.
The pair won the 2017 world junior title. Alexandrovskaya retired from the sport in February due to multiple injuries.
“It is enormously sad to lose Katia, who was a vibrant and talented person and an incredible athlete,” Ian Chesterman, Chef de Mission for the Australian team in Pyeongchang, said in a statement. “She was quiet and humble in her manner but incredibly determined to be the best she could be.
“Katia was an important member of our team in Pyeongchang, who loved the opportunity to compete with Harley and embraced her time in the Australian Olympic Team. We are all deeply saddened to hear the news [Saturday]. Life since the Games has not been easy for her and this is another timely reminder of just how fragile life is.”
In an Instagram post Saturday, Windsor — Australia’s first Indigenous athlete to compete at a Winter Olympics — said he was “devastated” by the news of Alexandrovskaya’s death.
“The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart,” he said.
Alexandrovskaya is the second Australian Winter Olympian to die this month after snowboarder Alex Pullin — a two-time world champion and three-time Olympian — drowned while spearfishing July 8 on the Gold Coast north of Brisbane.
“Katia’s death is another blow to our winter sports community who are still reeling from our loss of ‘Chumpy’ Pullin,” Chesterman said. “But we are a close-knit community that will continue to offer support to each other at this incredibly sad time.”