U.S. Olympic ski jumper Patrick Gasienica dead at 24 following motorcycle accident

 June 15, 2023

A young athlete who represented the United States during the 2022 Winter Olympics in China has passed away following a tragic accident.

Ski jumper Patrick Gasienica died on Monday at the age of 24 after being involved in a motorcycle accident near his home in Illinois, CBS News reported.

The grim news was confirmed by his family, the organization he skied with, and the ski club where he trained in the Chicago area.

Represented the U.S. in international ski jumping competitions

USA Nordic Sport and U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced on Tuesday that Gasienica had died the previous day and said that their "thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends, and the ski jumping community."

Gasienica was said to have grown up ski jumping and first began to do so competitively in International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) competitions in 2015.

He would go on to represent the U.S. at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in 2016 and 2017, the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and made his Olympic debut at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

According to CBS News, Gasienica finished 49th and 53rd in the two individual ski jumping events he competed in but finished 10th in a team jumping event.

Polish family of competitive ski jumpers

NBC Sports reported that Gasienica lived in McHenry, Illinois with his mother and, according to a fundraiser set up on his grieving mother's behalf, perished in a motorcycle accident while riding home from work Monday afternoon.

In addition to his mother, he leaves behind two sisters as well as his mother's fiance, Bob, all of whom were mourning the "sudden and devastating loss" to the family.

Gasienica was the U.S.-born son of Polish immigrants who hailed from the town of Zakopane, where international ski jumping is a big thing, and where his father, uncle, and grandfather were all competitive ski jumpers.

Club where he trained expresses "deep and profound sadness" at loss

NBC Sports noted that Gasienica trained with other Olympic ski jumpers at the Norge Ski Club located north of Chicago, which said in a Tuesday Facebook post, "It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the sudden passing of Patrick Gascienica, our teammate, family member and friend."

"This devastating loss hits our Norge family hard, and leaves us with deep and profound sadness at his passing," the post continued. "Patrick was a dedicated athlete and beloved member of not only the Norge community, but the ski jumping community at large, and his life and legacy will forever be remembered."

"We extend our deepest condolences to Patrick's family, friends, teammates, and the entire ski jumping community during this time of immense grief," the club said. "We ask that you hold Patrick's family, friends and our Norge community in your thoughts and prayers as well as respecting Patrick's family's privacy as they mourn this unimaginable loss."

The Norge Ski Club added, "Patrick was a fierce competitor, role model, and friend to all who knew him. While this loss is devastating to our community, we will always remember Patrick and hold him close in our hearts and memories."

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