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Richie Weiss

We have lost one of our own, someone who led us on and off the water. This is a terrible tragedy for the Weiss family and for all of us in the whitewater paddling community. Please be sure to read the USCKT press release, which contains information on the Rich Weiss memorial fund. Additional information about the incident may be found in the Weiss accident report written by John Trujillo, Elliot Weintrob and Bill Endicott. I'd also like to direct you to the beautiful eulogy that Brian Parsons wrote for Rich.

There were two Washington Post articles on this accident; I'm now seeking permission to include them here. If anyone has a digitized copy of the picture of Rich hugging Rosi after he made the 1996 Olympic Team, I would very much like to include that here. I think that, more than any picture we could choose of Rich's brilliant paddling, shows the essence of a man who we're going to miss very much.

The postscript to all of this is that there was some good news at the end of the story.

> From: David Johnson
> Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:12:20 -0700 (PDT)
> cc: white-water@peak.org
> Subject: Re: Kayaker drowns on WHITE SALOM
> The kayaker was Richie Weiss, long time member of U.S. slalom team.
> Richie recently retired from slalom competition after the Olympics and
> settled in Hood River late last summer with his wife Rosie. He was
> kayaking the Green Truss section of the White Salmon at high water and
> had done this section the previous week. He missed his line by several
> feet was swept into a large hole, was cartwheeled and his boat appeared
> without him. His body was found several hours later with head injuries
> that may or may not have been the cause of death.
> Richie was a friend, a great guy, an extremely strong paddler and will be
> sorely missed by members of the slalom community both in the U.S. and in
> Canada where he trained for most of his career.
> This incident again focusses our attention on the dangers inherent in
> stretches of river like the upper White Salmon. Richie and Tree
> were running this section of the river, in part, to prepare for the
> Extreme Race that is to take place there. One has to pause and wonder
> about the direction of whitewater paddling and whether we should be
> promoting Extreme racing after an incident like this involving one of the
> strongest paddlers in the country.

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