Written by Staff Writer by Will Ripley, CNN
Marko Grilc, the 17-year-old snowboarder known as “Mini-Peter,” died Thursday after he fell during a training run at Copper Mountain, Colorado.
He was training for a competition scheduled for Sunday, as well as for a film shoot in an adjacent ski area, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Grilc had worked with sponsors including Blizzard, Levi, Lacoste, Nike and Red Bull.
Red Bull posted a statement on their Facebook page, but did not mention Grilc by name.
“An individual died while snowboarding during training at Copper Mountain today,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends and anyone who knew Marko Grilc.”
In an interview with CNN Travel last year, Grilc described the logistics of choosing to live and train at Copper Mountain, a popular US skiing and snowboarding resort in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 70 miles northwest of Denver.
“I go to school here, I live here, I train here. It’s basically one big, awesome adventure,” he said.
This is the inside of Copper Mountain.
Leap of faith
Grilc, who grew up in Russia, was known to have pulled off a vertical leap of faith in 2013 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Grilc leapt to his death at St. Olaf College.
When asked about his off-kilter, complicated technique, Grilc said: “It can be classified as a wing and a prayer. When you are going fast, everything is available.”
This is one of the wings used by Grilc in his tricks.
When asked why he liked creating such “wow” moments with his tricks, Grilc said: “I honestly think it has a lot to do with the fact that everyone is so close and it’s a matter of turning a corner and seeing your family. That’s when you can really see yourself.”
Scott McAvoy, Director of Adventure Sports at St. Olaf College, told CNN back in 2013: “Each time he does something really cool, it moves the sport forward. If he only did it once, it would be the same thing.”
Grilc also posted videos and photos of his tricks on Instagram, an image-sharing platform popular with younger people and highly-active young people.