'Absolutely heartbreaking': 22-year-old world champ killed in mountain bike accident

Mikayla Martin in action. Image: Ski Racing/Twitter

Canadian ski cross racer Mikayla Martin died on Tuesday after a mountain bike accident in her hometown of Squamish.

The 22-year-old Martin, the winner of a world junior championship last year in Cardrona, New Zealand, was biking with a male friend on the Slhaney Trail system behind Stawamus Chief Provincial Park when she was injured.

Martin was airlifted to a hospital, but couldn’t be saved.

“Mikayla embodied a love of skiing and passion for ski cross that were boundless and words can't express how sorely she'll be missed,” Alpine Canada President Vania Grandi said Wednesday in a statement.

“We wish to express our most sincere condolences to Christine and James, Mikayla's parents, as well as her entire family and circle of friends.”

Squamish RCMP and the coroner are continuing to investigate the incident.

“The death of Mikayla is a huge loss for the community of Squamish and an immense loss for her family and friends and our thoughts are with them,” Sgt. Sascha Banks said in the statement.

“It can't be stressed more that adventuring in Squamish comes with inherent risks.”

Martin was a promising alpine ski racer out of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club who switched to ski cross in 2017.

She raced on the World Cup circuit last winter, finishing a career-best sixth in Innichen, Switzerland.

Canadian team left heartbroken

The Canadian ski cross team has been left devastated.

"It's so tragic," Brittany Phelan told The Canadian Press on Thursday.

"I really, truly believe she would have had a very bright and successful career. She would have done so much for women in sport.

"We're staying together and processing it. Being together is the most important thing.

"We were already talking about coming up with some foundation because it was so important to Mikayla to inspire younger girls."

with agencies