Professional free-skier C.R. JohnsonÂ died at California’s Squaw Valley on Wednesday while taking a run down a steep chute and smashing his head against a rock outcropping, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Johnson, 26, whoÂ competed in superpipe and halfpipe skiing at events such asÂ the X Games, was skiing with a group of friends on Wednesday when he fell while trying to negotiate a “very, very tight, rocky area,” Jim Rogers of the resort’s ski patrol told the AP.
Johnson reportedlyÂ fell face first, then spun around and struck the back of his head on rocks. He was wearing a helmet at the time.
Ski patrol members were unable to revive the skier when they were called to the scene around 2 p.m.,Â according to reports.
The news has Olympians in Vancouver dedicating their runs to the fallen skier.Â U.S. skier Julia Mancuso “tweeted” that sheÂ is dedicating her run inÂ Thursday’s women’s giant slalom to her fallen friend.
“These 2010 Olympics are almost done for me,” Mancuso wrote on Twitter this morning. “This last run is for CR Johnson. Gonna rip it for …” (with a photo posted.)
Another Olympian, American Jeret Peterson, tweeted earlier that “we’ve lost a friend and innovator in our sport. CR Johnson, you are loved and will be missed.” Peterson competes in the finals of the men’s aerials competition on Thursday.