Lausanne / Switzerland

The ISU learned of the tragic news that Lara van Ruijven, the Dutch Short Track Speed Skating World Champion, passed away on July 10, 2020.

The 27-year-old had been in a hospital in Perpignan, France, since 25 June, after falling ill during a training camp in the Pyrenees. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, placed in a coma and underwent surgery.

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©International Skating Union

According to the Royal Dutch Skating Federation (KNSB), she died surrounded by her loved ones on Friday evening.

Lara was much loved by her teammates, fellow competitors and fans. Tributes poured in on social media for her from all corners of the globe.

“The ISU is very saddened by the news of Lara’s passing,” said ISU President Jan Dijkema. “She had a bright future ahead of her in Short Track Speed Skating and the entire skating community is in shock and mourning this terrible loss. Our thoughts are with and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to Lara’s family, friends and teammates.”

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©International Skating Union

Van Ruijven had emerged as one of Europe’s brightest talents over recent seasons. A key part of her country’s successful 3000m relay team, she was also a brilliant solo sprint skater, and at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria, she became the first woman from the Netherlands ever to win a World title, taking the 500m gold.

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©International Skating Union