The U.S. Ski Team has suffered a major tragedy has two members of their team have died in an avalanche in Austria. The U.S. Ski Team reported that 20-year-old Ronnie Berlack and 19-year-old Bryce Astle died in the avalanche near the Rettenbach glacier.
According to The Associated Press, Alpine director Patrick Riml said, “It’s a shock for everybody. Two great boys, great athletes, good skiers. They were fun to have around. We are all in shock, still. It’s very tragic.”
According to The Local, over 60 people were involved in the search and rescue for these two skiers until they were finally discovered under three to four meters of snow.
Officials in the Tyrolean region reported that there was indeed an avalanche alert for the area after heavy snowfall the last few days. The avalanche forecast for the area was at level 3 and was a “considerable danger” according to officials.
It just goes to show that sometimes coaches and officials involved have to do a better job in protecting their athletes from dangerous situations, especially when you are dealing with dangerous outdoor conditions combined with an athletic sport. Our condolences go out to the boys’ families.