Vibeke Skofterud dies in a watercraft accident
It is former Norwegian cross-country skier, Vibeke Skofterud, who is found dead after the watercraft accident in Arendal on Sunday.
Skofterud was thirty-eight years old.
– The woman is now identified, and it is the 38-years-old Vibeke Skofterud who is deceased. The family is oriented, says Operations Manager in the Agder Police District, Sveinung Alsaker, in a press release. The police reported the incident just before 12.30 pm on Sunday.
– The victim was first reported missing at one am the night before Sunday. She was found on the islet of St. Helena in Hovekilen at 11.30 am today. She was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor from the air ambulance. There was a watercraft near the islet, and everything indicates that this was a watercraft accident, says Alsaker.
Vibeke Skofterud belonged for many years among the world elite in cross-country skiing. She retired in 2015. Her biggest sporting achievement was the Olympic gold medal in the relay in 2010 and two World Championships gold medals in the relay for Norway in 2005 and 2011.
– This is extremely tragic. My thoughts are with the closest family and friends. It’s is just like a black hole where the world is collapsing, says the Leader of the National Team, Vidar Løfshus, to NTB.
He worked with Skofterud for several years while she was still an active athlete.
– Vibeke was first and foremost an athlete with good results. And then she was a spot of colour, a girl who enjoyed life, always gave of herself and who had a positive outlook on life.
Stopped by injuries
In 2012, Vibeke Skofterud went to the top of the Vasaloppet ski marathon (“long lauf”), as the first Norwegian woman to do so. She also took an individual National old medal in the sprint in 2002 and had 15 individual podium finishes in the World Cup.
After Skofterud quit the national team in 2014, she was going to concentrate on Long-laufs, but injuries and sickness meant that she did not participate in any competitions afterwards. During the Winter Olympics last year she was part of the TV channel Eurosport’s expert team in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The reason for the tragic watercraft accident is not yet clear. A local cabin owner that NTB has talked with, says that there were exceptionally bad weather and poor sight at the accident scene late on Saturday.
The police announce that they work at the accident site on Sunday afternoon and perform technical investigations.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today