Olympic curling fans took note when Thomas Dufour's French team appeared for this morning's game against Norway wearing black armbands.
The team reports this is in memory of one of France's future curling stars, a young woman named Solène Coulet, who died on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The news is shocking, and our heart goes out to her family, teammates and many friends.
Coulot made her debut for France just last season at not one, but two world championships. She first appeared as third stone for her sister Marie at the 2009 World Junior championships at Vancouver in March, one of the test events for these 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Just a month later she again represented France along with her brother, Wilfred, at the World Mixed Doubles at Cortina, Italy in April (photo above).
Her team was scheduled to represent France again at next month's 2010 World Juniors, in Flims, Switzerland.
UPDATE: The Curling News has now learned that her death is an apparent suicide.
Just a day prior to her death, she wrote on her Facebook page:
Un jour nous prenons conscience que nous avons franchi le point de non-retour, ce moment où l’on ne peut plus revenir en arrière. Ce moment où l’on se rend compte qu’on a laissé passer sa chance…
One day we'll realize that we passed the point of no return, this moment where one cannot return back. That moment where we realize we missed a chance...
RIP to French national team competitor Solène Coulot, who has left us... at only 20 years of age.
[WCF photo of Wilfred and Solène Coulot by Mario Facchini/Newspower]