CORVARA, Italy (AP) - Extreme skier Shane McConkey was killed jumping off a cliff with a parachute while filming a movie in Italy. He was 39.
His sponsor Red Bull confirmed his death Thursday.
McConkey was in Corvara on a ski-BASE jump when he had a mid-air malfunction, Red Bull said in a statement. Italian emergency responders arrived within minutes and pronounced him dead at the scene, according to the sponsor.
"Shane loved life and innovated both sport worlds he touched, skiing and B.A.S.E. Jumping," Red Bull spokesman Patrice Radden said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the sport he pioneered also carries inherent risks."
McConkey founded the International Free Skiing Association and had grown popular in recent years for his BASE jumping competitions and big-mountain film exploits.
During his career he won the IFSA world tour of freeskiing in 1996 and 1998, and finished second in the 1999 Winter X Games Skier X competition. In 2001, Skiing Mag listed him as the top skier in North America, and Powder magazine readers voted him skier of the year three times.
McConkey lived and trained at Squaw Valley's Olympic Village south of Truckee, California. He is survived by his wife, Sherry, and 3-year-old daughter, Ayla.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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