Aussie skater Alexandrovskaya dies

Tributes have been flooding in for Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya who has died aged 20 .
Tributes have been flooding in for Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya who has died aged 20 .

Tributes have flooded in for Australian Olympic ice skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya who died, aged 20, in Moscow.

The cause of her death on Friday has not yet been disclosed.

Alexandrovskaya won the 2017 world junior championship alongside Harley Windsor and competed with him at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang - they finished 18th.

Alexandrovskaya, who was known as Katia, retired from the sport in February after a series of injuries.

In an emotional Instagram post, Windsor said he was devastated by Alexandrovskaya's death.

"Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia," he wrote.

"The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia."

The Australian Olympic Committee described the news as a "terrible blow".

"It is enormously sad to lose Katia who was a vibrant and talented person and an incredible athlete," Chef de Mission for the Australian team in North Korea Ian Chesterman said.

"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 today.

"Life since the Games has not been easy for her and this is another timely reminder of just how fragile life is.

"Katia's death is another blow to our winter sports community who is still reeling from our loss of (Alex) Chumpy Pullin.

"But we are a close-knit community that will continue to offer support to each other at this incredibly sad time."

Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO Geoff Lipshut said Alexandrovskaya had a special place in Australia's winter sport history.

The Russian-born Alexandrovskaya obtained Australian citizenshipin 2016.

"Katia and Harley were Australia's first figure skating world champions," he said.

"She came to Australia to fulfil her sporting dreams.

"With Harley, they were world junior champions and world junior grand prix champions in 2017 and then proud members of the 2018 Australian Olympic team in Korea, 2018.

"The news today is so sad, my thoughts are with Katia's family in Russia, Harley and the skating community in Australia."

Pullin, a two-time world champion snowboarder and three-time Olympian, drowned while spearfishing on July 8 on the Gold Coast.


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Australian Associated Press