Tributes have been flooding in for Australian Olympic ice skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, who has died in Moscow at the age of 20.
The cause of her death on Friday has not yet been disclosed.
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Alexandrovskaya won the 2017 world junior championship alongside Harley Windsor and competed with him in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang where they finished 18th.
The 20-year-old, who was known as Katia, retired from the sport in February after a series of injuries.
Upon hearing news of her death, Windsor left a heartbreaking tribute to his former skate partner on social media.
"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," he wrote.
"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."
His sentiments were echoed across the Australian sporting landscape as the young figure skater’s death left the sport reeling.
"It is enormously sad to lose Katia who was a vibrant and talented person and an incredible athlete," said Ian Chesterman, Chef de Mission for the Australian team in South Korea.
"She was quiet and humble in her manner but incredibly determined to be the best she could be.
"Katia was an important member of our Team in PyeongChang, who loved the opportunity to compete with Harley and embraced her time in the Australian Olympic team.
"We are all deeply saddened to hear the news today. Life since the Games has not been easy for her and this is another timely reminder of just how fragile life is.
"Katia's death is another blow to our winter sports community who is still reeling from our loss of (Alex) Chumpy Pullin.
"But we are a close-knit community that will continue to offer support to each other at this incredibly sad time.
Tributes flood in for young star
The skating family mourns the loss of Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya (AUS). The ISU shares its heartfelt condolences with her family, friends and teammates.
Please check the link below to learn more about Alexandrovskaya's career. RIP 🖤https://t.co/m6FWlBo2Jf pic.twitter.com/40os6bYhHT
— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) July 18, 2020
I’m so shocked to hear of the death of Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya. She was a fighter who gave her whole heart to this sport and achieved so much in just 20 years. She was an inspiration to Australian figure skaters and a strong competitor. May you rest in peace, Katia ❤️ pic.twitter.com/MXkIrSgz1G
— Isabel 🖤 rest easy, Katia (@mad4skating) July 18, 2020
So sad to wake up to hear the news of the passing of pairs skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya. Katia represented Australia with partner Harley Windsor at the 2018 Olympics. Our condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.https://t.co/NdU11cuEXW
— Europe On Ice (@europeonice) July 18, 2020
Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya passed away 😢 I am so shocked; I cannot believe this 💔 My deepest condolences to her family and friends 🙏
— 🍁Sarah Lee🍁 (@sarahlee8812) July 18, 2020
Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO Geoff Lipshut said Katia had a special place in Australia's winter sport history.
"Katia and Harley were Australia's first figure skating world champions. She came to Australia to fulfil her sporting dreams.
"With Harley, they were world junior champions and world junior grand prix champions in 2017 and then proud members of the 2018 Australian Olympic team in Korea, 2018.
"The news today is so sad, my thoughts are with Katia's family in Russia, Harley and the skating community in Australia. I will remember Katia as a young person of great talent and remarkable potential."
Alexandrovskaya’s death follows the tragic passing of fellow Winter Olympian Pullin, who died on the Gold Coast earlier in the month.
Pullin, a two-time world champion snowboarder and three-time Olympian, drowned while spearfishing on July 8 after suffering a shallow water blackout.
with Yahoo Sport staff