Russian born Australian figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya has died at the age 20.
The skater, known to friends as Katia, quit the sport due to health issues earlier this year.
Tributes have been flooding in online after 20-year-old Australian figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya was found dead on a Moscow street, her death is being treated as a suicide.
Russian news has reported the body of Katia, who had previously competed for Australia at the 2018 Winter Games, was found in a Moscow street on Friday and that the “preliminary cause of death is suicide.” While authorities are yet to officially disclosed the details of her death, Katia’s former coach, Andrei Khekalo, told Agence France-Presse that she fell from a sixth story window.
Khekalo told the AFP that Katia had been diagnosed in January with epilepsy, causing her to quit the sport. Her Australian pairs partner, Harley Windsor, said on social media in February that he and Alexandrovskaya were unable to continue because of unspecified “health concerns,” and he wished her “all the best in the future and a quick recovery.”
Katia’s coach Khekalo said that even before the skater was diagnosed with epilepsy she suffered from depression. “I tried to get her to stay in sport at my own peril,” he said.
With the Olympics being postponed, and the world being shaken by the uncertainty of the coronavirus, there are reports that the skater’s mental health struggles could have been amplified amid the effects of the pandemic.
On Saturday, pairs partner Windsor posted to Instagram to say he was “devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia.”
Posting a photo of himself and Katia at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Windsor added, “The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for.”
View this post on Instagram
Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia. The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace Katia.
Tributes have been flooding in all over social media to share condolences for the young skater.
we will miss you 💔 pic.twitter.com/5cy71eRKru
— your skaters (@your_skaters) July 18, 2020
Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya was a World Junior Champion and a 2 time AUS National Champion in Pair Skating. 2 days ago, she committed suicide by jumping off her window in Moscow.
One can only imagine how difficult it was for the 20year old to take that leap.
Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/f5eZHzVJiK
— Aniket Mishra (@aniketmishra299) July 19, 2020
(CNN) – Pairs figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who was born in Russia but competed for Australia in the 2018 Olympics, has died at 20 in Moscow, the International Skating Union reported Saturday. Details of her death were not immediately known. pic.twitter.com/01rXIrUIrJ
— Captain Jack (@Captain03309461) July 19, 2020
Geoff Lipshut, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia’s chief executive officer, hailed Alexandrovskaya and Windsor as “Australia’s first figure skating world champions.”
“She came to Australia to fulfill her sporting dreams,” said Lipshut, who has been appointed chef de mission for his country’s delegation to the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. “The news today is so sad, my thoughts are with Katia’s family in Russia, Harley and the skating community in Australia.”
Vale Ekaterina ‘Katia’ Alexandrovskaya, 2000 – 2020
We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of 2018 Winter Olympian Katia Alexandrovskaya. A quiet & humble athlete, incredibly determined to be the best she can be, Katia will be sorely missed.
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) July 18, 2020
Russian media said Katia had left a note reading “Lyublyu” which translates to “I love”.
If you or someone you know are struggling and need support at this time please call:
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800