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Snowboarder dies during World Cup training run

13 March 2006

Swedish snowboarder Jonatan Johansson died Sunday after falling during a snowboardcross run down Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks.

The 26-year-old Turin Olympics competitor made a bad landing on one of his jumps during training for a World Cup competition, according to US Ski and Snowboarding Association spokesman Tom Kelly.

"He had a problem on his landing," Kelly said.

Details of the crash were not immediately available, but officials said he landed within the course boundaries and was wearing a helmet. Olympic Regional Development Authority spokesman Sandy Caligiore said he did not hit a tree, a pole or any other obstacle. The course where Johansson crashed, the Boreen Trail, has special snowboardcross features constructed for competition.

Johansson was on a section of the trail by himself when he fell. He was transported to Adirondack Medical Centre in nearby Lake Placid, where he was pronounced dead, according to hospital spokeswoman Beth Donahue. An autopsy will be performed Monday at the medical facility's main centre in Saranac Lake.

The Swede had been competing at the World Cup level since 2000. Johansson finished 12th in snowboardcross at Turin. He was ranked 45th in the World Cup standings this season.

Whiteface, down the road from Lake Placid, was hosting the four-day World Cup event. The rest of the snowboardcross event was cancelled.

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