Climbing Prodigy Luce Douady Dies at 16

Illustration for article titled Climbing Prodigy Luce Douady Dies at 16
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French climbing prodigy Luce Douady died on Sunday after she lost her footing and fell off a path between two climbing areas near Grenoble. She was 16.


Douady, the reigning junior world champion, was expected to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021—the first year that climbing was slated to be included.

The International Federation of Sport Climbing called her a “young, brilliant and talented athlete,” writing on its website that her death caused “immense sadness” among the climbing community. “This terrible news has hit her training comrades, coaches, and her club hard. But today, the entire federation is in mourning,” the FFME said.

French media reports that Douady was with a group of friends heading toward an unexplored section of a cliff when she slipped on an exposed section of path and fell.

UK Climbing describes her bouldering style as “dynamic and determined.” In addition to clinching the World Youth Championship in 2019, she also placed fifth at the Boulder World Cup in Vail, Colorado when she was just 15.



Damn. Climbing is so rewarding and is such an accessible sport for young people; and it has a community like no other sport I’ve been involved in. Climbers love other climbers. They help each other, give them route info, belay for them, cheer them on...  This isn’t even a case of “dying doing what she loved.” This is just a tragic accident that could happen to anyone venturing into the backcountry.

My heart breaks for her family, friends, and training partners.