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22-year-old Olympic surfing hopeful killed by lightning while training

APTOPIX Puerto Rico Tropical Weather
Posted at 11:27 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 11:40:48-04

An Olympic surfing hopeful from El Salvador has died while training near her home after reportedly being struck by lightning.

Katherine Diaz was in the water on the southwest side of El Salvador Friday when she died. She was 22 years old.

The National Institute for Sport in El Salvador confirmed her tragic death and released a statement.

"We raise a prayer for the eternal rest of her soul and we express our most sincere condolences to her family," INDES said.

The International Surfing Association also released a statement sharing their condolences and memories of Diaz.

“Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport,” the organization tweeted along with an undated image of the El Salvadorian surfing team.

Diaz was training for a competition coming up at the end of May, it is the final qualifying tournament before the 2020 games in Tokyo.

Surfing is making its Olympic debut at this year’s games.