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Karine Ruby: Her legacy lives on

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26th June, 1996. The first Snowboard World Championships in the history of FIS were taking place in Lienz, Austria. It is a historic event with many new faces on the stage of global winter sports. One of them was Karine Ruby, who won the giant slalom and secured France's only podium finish.

For her, it was the start of a series of medals that spanned a decade. Two years later, the first female world champion in FIS history also became the first female Olympic champion in snowboarding. By 2005 she had won five more gold medals and four additional silver medals, in different disciplines: giant slalom, parallel slalom and snowboard cross. In 2002 she also won silver at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, in the parallel giant slalom, and in 2005 bronze at the X-Games in the cross competition. In the FIS Snowboard World Cup, Karine Ruby recorded 67 victories and 122 podium places, and with the renowned New York Times describing her as "the most decorated female snowboarder in the world". These figures brought her seven overall World Cup victories, a record that still stands today.

Even after her sporting career, Ruby spent her life in the great outdoors and began training as a mountain guide. Fifteen years ago, the then 31-year-old died while climbing in the Mont Blanc massif. However, her successes – and her legacy for international snowboarding – live on to this day.