Road To The Olympic Games

Speed Skating

World champion short-track speed skater Lara van Ruijven dies at 27

Short-track speed skater Lara van Ruijven died on Friday as a result of complications from an autoimmune reaction, the Netherlands skating association said. Van Ruijven was 27.

Skating association says death a result of complications from autoimmune reaction

Lara van Ruijven of the Netherlands, seen above in 2015, has passed away at age 27 of complications from an autoimmune reaction. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images)

World champion short-track speed skater Lara van Ruijven died on Friday as a result of complications from an autoimmune reaction, the Netherlands skating association said. Van Ruijven was 27.

She died in a hospital in the French city of Perpignan, where she had been in a critical condition for days.

She last year became the first Dutch woman to win a short-track world title when she won the 500-metre title in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Van Ruijven won a short-track world title in 2019, claiming the 500-metre title in Sofia, Bulgaria.

"What terrible news we've just received. The loss will be felt in the sport world," national coach Jeroen Otter said.

Herman de Haan, director of the national skating body, added: "It's incomprehensible that she has been taken from us while in the prime of her life."

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