Surfer Katherine Diaz Dead at 22 After Struck by Lightning While Training for Olympics
The Olympics hopeful’s untimely passing in the freak weather accident sends shock waves throughout the sports world, as the Salvadoran Surf Federation hails her as a ‘great warrior.’
AceShowbiz –Katherine Diaz, a young surfer from El Salvador, has died in a freak weather accident. The woman, dubbed El Salvador’s “top surfer,” was killed after being struck by lightning during training session. She was only 22 years old.
Katherine was training at a beach near her home in El Tunco on Friday, March 19 when she was struck. Emergency services tried to revive her on the beach, but the attempts were unsuccessful. Spanish newspaper AS reported that a sudden change in weather had caught those on the beach by surprise. “The sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either,” so the paper described the weather.
The surfer’s uncle Beto Diaz was with her at the time of the accident and confirmed that his niece had been struck by lightning. “Katherine passed away instantly,” he told a local news outlet.
The International Surfing Association announced Katherine’s death. “It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz,” the statement read. “Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport. She excelled at the international competition level, representing her country with pride at both the ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.”
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The Salvadoran Surf Federation also paid tribute to Katherine on Facebook. “A great athlete who has represented our country has left us,” it stated. “See you soon, great warrior. El Salvador is in mourning.”
According to The Guardian, Katherine was preparing for the May ISA World Surfing Games, a qualifier for this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She was also working as a chef and had opened her own business in El Tunco, per The Associated Press. Her funeral was held on Sunday, March 21.
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