World champion short track speed skater Lara van Ruijven died on Friday after complications with an autoimmune reaction, according to the Associated Press.
She was 27.
Van Ruijven helped lead the Netherlands to a bronze medal in the 3,000 meter relay at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, a race they won in world-record time.
She is the reigning world champion in the 500 meter, and became the first Dutch woman to win a world short track title at the 2019 World Championships. Italian Martina Valcepina crossed the finish line first in that race, however was disqualified for an arm block after making contact with van Ruijven at the end.
Rust zacht lieve Lara❤️. De doorzetter, met je onvergetelijke lach en je lieve zorgzame karakter. Ik ga je ontzetten missen... voor altijd in mijn hart❤️ pic.twitter.com/aATnp43jfo— Jorien ter Mors (@jorientermors) July 10, 2020
Van Ruijven was hospitalized last month while at a training camp near Perpign, France. She had been in the intensive care unit since June 29, according to NBC Sports, and had been in included into a coma. She suffered internal bleeding, including in her brain, per the report, and underwent multiple surgeries.
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