The brother of Alpine skier and three-time Olympic gold medallist Deborah Compagnoni has been killed in an avalanche.
Jacopo Compagnoni was skiing with a friend in the Alta Valtellina ski area in the province of Sondrio in the northern Italian region of Lombardy when he was hit by an avalanche late yesterday morning (16th December).
His friend, who was unharmed, called the emergency services.
Jacopo was pulled out of the snow and taken by helicopter from the scene of the disaster, around 2,850 metres (9,350 feet) above sea level on Monte Sobretta in the comune (municipality) of Valfurva, to hospital in the comune of Sondalo in a serious condition.
He died shortly after admission.
He was 40 years old and leaves behind two young daughters.
Jacopo was a ski instructor, mountain guide and mountaineering instructor, and formed part of the Livigno mountain guides group.
He lived in Santa Caterina di Valfurva, a frazione (subdivision) of Valfurva, where his family owns a hotel. He knew the mountains around his home intimately.
No other fatalities were reported in the avalanche.
One of Jacopo’s grieving relatives is his sister Deborah, who is a decorated former Alpine skier.
She won three gold medals at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, in the Super-G in the case of the former and in the Giant Slalom in the case of the latter two.
She also won a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, in the Slalom.
She is widely considered the best Italian female skier of all time.