Elena Fanchini dies aged 37 after cancer battle, Mikaela Shiffrin pays tribute to Italian at World Championships


Italian skier Elena Fanchini has died at the age of 37 after a battle with cancer.

Fanchini represented Italy at three Winter Olympics and won silver at the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2005.

She last raced in December 2017.

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Fanchini died on the same day that fellow Italian Marta Bassino won the super-G at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships.

A statement from the International Ski Federation (FIS) said: “Mourning has struck the world of winter sports and the Alpine Ski World Cup.

“At the end of a severe illness, Elena Fanchini, the Italian champion who retired from competition in 2017, passed away at her home in Solato at the age of just 37.

“FIS expresses its deepest condolences to the Fanchini family and the Italian Winter Sports Federation.”

Fanchini won two World Cup downhill races in 2005 and 2015. She also had two third-place finishes.

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin expressed her condolences after finishing second behind Bassino on the super-G on Wednesday.

“This was a day filled with emotions,” she wrote on Twitter.

“There is so much I’d like to share…but what weighs the heaviest is the loss of Elena Fanchini.

“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.

“My heart is also with the Italian team, who are hurting very deeply now. We are sharing a hotel during WSC [World Championships] with the Italian team, and what I can tell you is that their love and strength is pure and true, and I am cheering for their entire team, now more than ever.

“Those who we have lost, will never be forgotten.”

The US Ski and Snowboard Team said on social media: “She brought so much light to the sport, and we are sending love to her family and friends.”

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