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Two Young U.S. Ski Team Prospects Die In An Austrian Avalanche

| Filed under: R.I.P.Sad SadSkiingSnow Sports

Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle died in an avalanche Monday afternoon.

The U.S. Ski Team is in shock this afternoon as they are mourning the loss of two of their brightest stars who were taken from us far too early.

Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle, who were 20 and 19 years old respectively, were both killed in an avalanche Monday morning while training with teammates in the Austrian Alps.

The two were part of a group of six skiers descending from the 3,056-meter Gaislachkogel when the avalanche was set off. Their four teammates were able to escape unharmed.

[ Related: Stars And Celebrities We Lost In 2014 ]

Officials say the area was under high alert due to heavy snowfall and warmer temperatures over the past few days.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw released a statement on the sad news, saying:

"Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport — both on the race course and skiing the mountain. Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them."

The two skiers were expected to play a big part in the U.S. Ski Team's future, and it's absolutely devastating that we'll never get to see them reach their full potential.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, friends, and teammates at this incredibly difficult time.

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