The snowboarding community is in mourning as an icon of the freestyle scene died at age 38 after falling and hitting his head on a rock.
The snowboarding community is in mourning after freestyle icon Marko Grilc died at age 38 in a tragic accident that occurred while he was filming in Austria.
The Slovenian had been a big name in the freestyle snowboarding scene for over 20 years.
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A press release from police based in Tyrol, Austria said a 38-year-old Slovenian man had suffered fatal head injuries from a snowboarding accident.
The man was a member of a film team who were out exploring the terrain of Austrian ski resort Sölden when the snowboarder, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, fell and hit his head on a snow-covered rock.
Resuscitation efforts were immediately carried out, but they proved unsuccessful and Grilc was pronounced dead on site.
Grilc is survived by his partner and his two children, with a third on the way in the coming weeks.
“Ohh man our 3rd baby legend is getting born into a wild ride,” Grilc wrote on October 30.
“Blessed for days like this with my whole gang.”
Two-time Olympic snowboard medallist Mark McMorris was one prominent figure of the sport to share his devastation, tweeting: “Heartbroken over the passing of my good friend @markogrilc. Grilo was a huge mentor to me and he will never be forgotten! My condolences go out to his family.”
A pair of Grilc’s sponsors, GoPro and Burton Snowboards, also shared messages of tribute to the Slovenian.
“We are saddened to hear the news of Marko Grilc’s passing,” a statement from GoPro read. “He was a beloved member of the GoPro family and inspired us not only as a professional athlete, but as a father and an amazing human.
“He was a legend and will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
A Twitter post from Burton Snowboards read: “With a heavy heart we share that yesterday, our dear friend and Burton team rider Marko ‘Grilo’ Grilc passed away in an accident while snowboarding. Our heart goes out to his fiance Nina and their children, family and friends, who all shared his love and passion for snowboarding.”
Grilc enjoyed a lengthy competitive freestyle snowboarding career, including nine podium finishes across his 11 years in the sport.
He came first in the Big Air events at the European Cup in Croatia in 2004 as well as the World Cup in London in 2010.
Grilc’s last competitive outing took place at the World Cup at Copper Mountain in Colorado in 2013 before he ventured into filming his snowboarding adventures around the world.
Many of his snowboarding trips are documented on his YouTube channel, posting his last video “Disconnected” in March this year.
Towards the end of the video, Grilc said: “Snowboarding is so simple, it’s basically just shredding down the mountain on a piece of wood. Just the stoke that you get from riding, from doing a sick line, and the happiness I saw out here was unreal. I’m sure this crew of people will have stories to tell for years to come.”