French 16-year-old climbing prodigy Luce Douady plummets 500ft to her death in fall from cliff
- Douady was climbing with friends in the alps near Grenoble when she fell
- Investigators believe she had not attached her cable to a handrail properly
- She was highly gifted for her age, winning youth world championships in 2019
French youth world champion climber Luce Douady has fallen from a cliff to her death in France in a freak climbing accident, it was learned on Sunday.
The 16-year-old Olympic hopeful was climbing with her friends near Grenoble, a city in the French alps in the south-east of the country.
Mountain police in Haute Savoie confirmed the news, telling Euronews that she had fallen 500 feet (150 meters) and that an investigation had been opened.
Douady was walking on an exposed path on her way to start her climb when she slipped and fell.
‘Luce was a very promising young athlete from the French climbing team,’ the French Mountain Climbing Federation (FFME) wrote in a statement on its website.
Luce Douady, pictured during the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships in Arco, 2019, fell 500 feet to her death in the French alps while climbing with friends
‘At only 16, the future was before her. This terrible news hit her training comrades, her coaches and her club, Chambéry Escalade hard. But today, the whole federation is in mourning. We obviously think of his family and we will be at his disposal.’
Douady was world champion at the junior bouldering championships in 2019 and placed third at the European Difficulty Championship in the same year, winning the bronze medal.
She also debuted fifth in women’s bouldering in Vail, Colorado at the International Federation of Sport Climbing Boulder World Cup last year.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that does not use a rope or harness, and is performed on smaller rocks or artificial walls.
Pictured: Luce Douady controls a hold for points during the IFSC Climbing Vail World Cup on June 8, 2019, in Vail, Colorado.
Luce Douady, pictured with Natsumi Hirano of Japan (left) and Saki Kikuchi of Japan (right) during the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships Arco 2019 Boulder Youth A Women Award Ceremony at Iconic Rockmaster Climbing Stadium in Arco, Italy, August 31 2019
She was seen as one of the brightest young talents in the sport, which will be introduced to the Olympics in Tokyo next year, according to The Guardian.
‘Luce Douady was a in love with all facets of climbing, capable of major achievements in natural sites,’ the statement concluded.
Initial investigations have found that Douady had likely not secured her cable properly to the handrail in the challenging pass, despite being familiar with the cliff, police said. They noted that this type of accident is rare in the area.
The 2024 Paris Olympics committee tweeted a picture of Douady, writing: ‘Luce Douady was a promising talent of French climbing, a true champion who had so many summits to climb. Immense sadness and thoughts for her loved ones.’
In a post of their Facebook page, her climbing club put out a message as well, writing: ‘Luce, this girl, this young woman full of energy, passions, talents! A beautiful person! She left the way she lived in crunch life!
‘Now it’s her family, friends we think. We share the immense emptiness, the pain, the pain… Be strong and strong for her memory! Forever forever, Luce!’
Luce Douady was seen as one of the brightest young talents in the sport, which will be introduced to the Olympics in Tokyo next year