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Para-snowboarder Matthew Robinson dies
Para-snowboarder Matthew Robinson dies

The family of Paralympic snowboarder Matthew Robinson have been left devastated by his tragic death following a race crash in Spain.

Robinson sustained serious neck and spinal injuries while competing at the IPC World Cup finals in La Molina, Spain on February 12.

After spending eight days in hospital in Barcelona, he was cleared by medical staff to be transported in a specialised Air Ambulance to Melbourne.

But during a scheduled refuelling stop in Kuwait, Robinson suffered a cardiac arrest, and despite being worked on by the Air Ambulance medical crew he could not be revived.

In a statement released on Saturday night, the 28-year-old's family expressed their thanks to everyone who had worked to try and save their son.

"We are devastated by Matthew's tragic passing," the family's statement read.

"This is an extremely difficult and emotional time for our family, his fiancee Gecel and her family.

"Matthew was an amazingly kind and loving son, brother, fiance, uncle, nephew, cousin and mate.

"We are doing our best to come to terms with his loss.

"Matthew was the light in so many people's lives, a young man whose strength, courage and passion shone from within and touched so many, near and far.

"His determination to take life's challenges on and conquer the world and achieve his dreams was second to none. He was universally and unconditionally loved and will be forever missed."

The Australian Paralympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee added their condolences.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew's parents, his fiancee, his family and his teammates," a statement from the APC said.

"Our immediate concern is to do everything possible to support them at this extremely sad and difficult time."

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: "The whole of the Paralympic movement is deeply saddened by this heart breaking tragedy.

"Matthew was a world-class and extremely popular athlete, a fact underlined by the vast number of support messages he received from around the world following last week's accident."