The UVM Winter Carnival continued Sunday despite an unexpected and tragic loss. A junior on Dartmouth's cross-country ski team -- who began a 50k race Saturday -- never made it across the finish line.
"This is a pretty tight knit community and all these kids on our teams know each other. Thoughts and prayers definitely go out to Dartmouth and their group -- it's a tough thing," said Andrew Johnson, Middlebury College's Nordic Ski Coach.
At the UVM Winter Carnival in Stowe Sunday, the death of 20 year old Torin Tucker was on the minds of many. The Dartmouth College Junior died Saturday during a 50K race in Craftsbury. St. Michael's Coach Molly Peters says her brother was racing alongside Tucker when the incident happened. "He was racing along and he was right with him when he pulled off to the side. And my brother said, 'Hey buddy, jump in behind me', and he obviously didn't, and obviously collapsed shortly thereafter," Peters said.
Attempts to resuscitate Tucker were unsuccessful. Dartmouth officials say the Idaho native passed away from an unknown medical issue. The College's President, Phil Hanlon, sent a letter to the Dartmouth community Saturday evening, saying, "We have been in contact with his family and share our deepest sympathies with them… Thoughts are with Torin's family, friends, and the entire Dartmouth community at this time of such a tragic loss…"
Dartmouth's ski team pulled out of Sunday's event in Stowe. For the nordic skiing community, they say the tragic death is a reminder that one of the most important things is keeping athletes safe. "People need to be aware of other people around them. You get so in the zone when you are racing it's hard to even know what's going on. I also, more importantly, think I wanted to ask everyone today if they knew CPR. I feel like that is something we should talk about," Peters said.
And supporting each other through this hard time, by continuing to do what Tucker loved -- ski. "We are just happy to be here racing, and Torin loved to ski and he died doing something he loved, so we are just kind of leaving it at that and trying to move forward," said UVM Nordic Coach Patrick Weaver.
The final cause of Tucker's death is still pending autopsy results.
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