It almost seems like a game of fate that Swedish Extreme skier Matilda Rapaport would survive an avalanche in Alaska two years ago, only to find death by another one on July 18, 2016, in Chile.
Rapaport, born in Stockholm on January 29, 1986, was on skis since the age of 2, aided by her ski fan father and her ski instructor mother. Matilda was all about exceeding limits and mostly her own. Her passion was “charging down” never-before-skied mountains, most of the times alone, dropped off by helicopters.
Her biggest success was in the 2013 Xtreme Verbier competition – one of the most difficult events in the world – in which she won the world’s elite!
The athlete returned to competitions after an avalanche accident in 2014. This year she ranked 4th in the Women’s ski standings of the Swatch Freeride World Tour and she was aiming for top podium next year.
Member of the International Red Bull team, with multiple appearances in ski films and videos – “Shades of Winter”2013, “Pure” (2014), “Between” (coming soon) – and a columnist for the Swedish Women’s Health magazine, Matilda’s passion, courage and love for her sport will remain intact in everyone’s memory.
On the day of her death, Rapaport was filming for Ubisoft’s new Extreme Sports Video Game “Steep”. Matilda and her crew set out to shoot on fresh powder, which proved to be loose. Even though the athlete carried avalanche safety equipment with her, her manager said that she probably tried to outrun the avalanche therefore didn’t have the time to use her gear.
The rescuers reached her soon after they were alerted by the filming crew, but Matilda was brought out of the snow unconscious. The athlete died in the hospital four days after the accident, due to brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation.
Matilda leaves behind her husband and high school sweetheart, Mattias Hargin, her mother and younger sister Helena (also a professional skier).
In her memory, enjoy the video below as she charges for 3rd place at the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour in Chamonix, France.
Rest in peace.