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A 31-year-old Canadian Olympic figure skater was killed in a multicar collision last week that also injured her infant son and three other adults, officials said.
Alexandra Paul, who rose to stardom on the ice alongside partner Mitchell Islam — whom she later married — was killed in a collision last Tuesday involving seven vehicles in Melancthon, a rural township in Ontario, the sport’s national governing body, Skate Canada, confirmed to NBC News.
The collision occurred just after 3 p.m. local time last Tuesday, when a tractor-trailer crashed into the rear of several vehicles that were lined up on a construction zone on the roadway, police said in a news release.
Paul was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Ontario Provincial Police, who originally mistakenly gave her age as 32.
Emergency medical personnel transported Paul’s baby to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. According to her obituary, the baby boy was born in October.
“Motherhood was her biggest joy,” her obituary says. “She embraced it with all the love and passion she had.”
The collision also left a 67-year-old man with serious injuries and a 45-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Their conditions were not immediately available Monday.
No charges have been filed, and the investigation continues, said a spokesperson for Ontario Provincial Police, who said police are still looking for witnesses.
Paul and Islam began skating together in 2009 and won a silver medal a year later at the World Junior Championships, according to the Canadian Olympic Committee.
They went on to win three medals at the Canadian Championships and competed together at the 2014 Winter Olympics, according to Skate Canada.
Paul retired from competitive skating in 2016, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
According to Paul’s obituary, she completed her law degree at the University of Windsor and began working at Barriston Law in Barrie, the Ontario city she called home at the time of her death.
She joined the firm as a student in 2019 and passed the bar exam two years later, according to a memorial post on its website.
“Alex was a cherished member of our team and balanced her calm and joyful personality with an intense passion for her work,” the firm said. “We will greatly miss her kindness, curiosity, drive and beautiful smile.”
Skate Canada memorialized Paul on Instagram, calling her “a cherished member of our skating community” and “a shining star on and off the ice.”
“Her commitment to excellence was matched only by her warmth and kindness, which endeared her to fellow athletes, coaches, and fans alike,” the statement said.
“As we remember Alexandra’s contributions to the sport, we also reflect on the camaraderie and sportsmanship she exemplified,” it continued. “She was not only an accomplished athlete but also a true role model for aspiring skaters, demonstrating the values of resilience, perseverance, and sportsmanlike conduct.”
In addition to her husband and son, Paul is survived by her parents and two sisters, according to her obituary.
“For those of us lucky enough to raise her, live with her, love her, or just know her, this is an enormous loss,” it says. “We were just fortunate to be part of her all too short life.”
Colin Sheeley is an assignment editor for NBC News.
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