With an emotional tribute on Instagram, the international shorttrack world reflects on the death of Lara van Ruijven.
Lara, this is our tribute to you. If we will all be together again at our first race, there will be a gap is how the Italian Arianna Fontana, the short track star with the most Olympic medals, starts the almost four-minute film.
A large number of shorttrackers speak in the video full of images by Van Ruijven, including the Canadian Kim Boutin, Van Ruijvens great rival on the 500 metres: None of us can escape the fact that Lara is no longer with us
The German Anna Seidel: Thank you for always being a ray of sunshine. We will miss you forever Bulgarian Evgenia Radanova: Rest softly Lara, the world will miss your passion for skating The British Josh Chetham: I miss Laras beautiful smile.
The video ends with a picture of Van Ruijven with the words: FOREVER CHAMPION.
Watch the full tribute from the shorttrack world here.
Van Ruijven died on Friday in a hospital in Perpignan, France, from complications of an autoimmune disease. She was 27 years old. Van Ruijven was part of the strong relay team of the Netherlands and a brilliant individual sprinter, who was the first Dutch woman ever to win a world title in the 500 metres in Sofia in 2019.