IOC mourns French athletes' death in helicopter crash

Geneva: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has mourned the death of three French athletes who were killed in an helicopter crash in Argentina on Monday.

London Olympic swimming champion Camille Muffat, Beijing Olympic boxing bronze medallist Alexis Vastine and yachtswoman Florence Arthaud were among ten people killed when two helicopters collided during the filming of a reality show, reports Xinhua.

People lay candles near a picture of swimming gold medallist Camille Muffat on March 10, 2015 in her hometown, the southeastern French city of Nice, during a tribute to Muffat after she died along with nine other people in a helicopter crash in Argentina. Pic/ AFP

"We are shocked by this sad news. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these great athletes who have left us," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement on Tuesday.

"With them, the world of sport and the Olympic family have lost three of their key members. They were all not only champions in their sport but also contributed greatly as role models."

The IOC said the Olympic flag would be flown at half-mast for three days at its headquarters.

World swimming governing body (FINA) also expressed its sadness for the death of Muffat, winner of the women's 400m free at the London Games.

"The FINA family is shocked with the dreadful news," FINA president Julio Maglione said.

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