22-Year-Old Olympic Hopeful Katherine Diaz Dies | 22 Words

The tragic news has reached us that promising athlete Katherine Diaz has passed away suddenly.

Ead on for the full, heartbreaking story...

Tributes have already started rolling in for the athlete...

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Diaz was a surfer from El Salvador.

She died while training ahead of competing in the ISA World Surf Games in El Salvador this May.

These games would have determined her qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

But on Friday, March 19th, tragedy struck.

Diaz was killed while training.

She was struck by lightning and died on the beach.

The electrical storm reportedly came on very suddenly and shocked onlookers.

"The sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either," wrote Spanish newspaper AS.

The International Surfing Association wrote on Facebook, "It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador's Katherine Diaz."

"Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport. She excelled at the international competition level, representing her country with pride at both the ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship."

"We send our heartfelt condolences to Katherine's family, the surfers of El Salvador, and to all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched. We will never forget you."

The Salvadoran Surf Federation echoed this statement. "A great athlete who has represented our country has left us. See you soon, great warrior. El Salvador is in mourning."

RIP.