Freeskier Ryan Hawks has passed away after an accident in an extreme skiing competition, according to one of his sponsors. He was 25 years old.
According to Dan Abrams, president of FlyLow, one of the skier's sponsors, Hawks passed away last night in the hospital. Hawks had been in the ICU for internal bleeding and injuries sustained after a 40-foot backflip on Sunday, Abrams said. Hawks was competing in the 2011 North American Freeskiing World Tour, at California's Kirkwood Ski area.
"The comp was in full swing. All of the heavy hitters were skiing, but a lot of the guys were falling, including Ryan's teammates from Green Mountain Freeride (Lars and Silas Chickering Ayers, who got 1st and 3rd last week in Crested Butte)," Abrams wrote OutsideOnline in an email. "There was an opportunity for Ryan to go all out and get on the podium. He has a history of back flips and basically going for it in comps. Several competitors before he dropped in, JT Holmes sent a huge cliff and blew up. Ryan went to the same cliff, smooth and confident. He threw a backflip off of this 40-foot cliff, from a downward descent. He came down on his feet but laid there."
"Ryan was an incredible athlete and he will be sorely missed," Abrams wrote.
ESPN.com's Megan Michelson has a report online confirming Hawks death with a spokesman at Reno's Renown Health Center.
Stay tuned for news as Outside learns more. —JUSTIN NYBERG
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