Heart breaking news to report as Italian alpine skier Elena Fanchini has tragically passed away at age 37 due to complications related to a tumor. NBC Sports reports Fanchini passed away Wednesday at her home in Solato, near Brescia.
Fanchini won her world downhill silver medal in Italy in 2005, just one month after her World Cup debut…incredible.10 months later, she won a World Cup downhill in Canada with “Ciao Mamma” drawn on face tape to guard frigid conditions, a move that also won over a lotta hearts. She was 20 years old. Nobody younger than 21 has won a World Cup downhill since. Her second and final World Cup win, also a downhill, came more than nine years later.
In between her two World Cup wins, Fanchini raced at three Olympics. She missed the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics because of her condition. She last raced in December 2017 and was cleared to return to train nearly a year later but never made it fully back. Her condition grew worse in recent months.
Our hearts go out to Elena’s family and friends. Here is a quick not from Mikaela Shiffrin honoring Elena and her impact on the sports:
This was a day filled with emotions. There is so much I’d like to share… but what weighs the heaviest is the loss of @elenafanchini. I’m sending my condolences to the whole Fanchini Family, who have had such a strong impact on our sport and world with their passion and kindness. pic.twitter.com/gmsLPVHX4I
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) February 8, 2023