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El Salvador's top surfer dies at 22 after being struck by lightning

Liz Roscher
·1-min read
Katherine Diaz, an Olympic hopeful surfer, died on Friday after being struck by lightning while training.
Katherine Diaz, an Olympic hopeful surfer, died on Friday after being struck by lightning while training.

Katherine Diaz, El Salvador's top surfer and an Olympic hopeful, has died after being struck by lightning while training on a beach.

Diaz, 22, was training on Friday just a short distance from her home in El Tunco, El Salvador, when a series of electrical storms hit the area. She was struck while she was still in the water, and onlookers reportedly tried to help her until the paramedics arrived. According to the Olympic Channel, Diaz could not be revived and died on the beach.

Via the Olympic Channel, the Spanish news paper AS reported that according to the Salvadoran Surf Federation, "the sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either."

Diaz, who was also a chef who had opened her own restaurant in El Tunco, had been training for an upcoming tournament in El Salvador that is serving as an Olympic qualifier. The Salvadoran Surf Federation shared the news of her death in a social media post.

"A great athlete who has represented our country has left us," the post said. "See you soon, great warrior. El Salvador is in mourning."

The International Surfing Association also shared a social media post about Diaz, offering condolences to her family.

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