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Shane McConkey killed in base jump accident

Extreme skier was filming in Italy


Extreme skier Shane McConkey was killed in a base jumping accident in Italy Thursday.

McConkey, son of Whistler legend Jim McConkey and step-brother of McCoo's George McConkey, was doing the jump while filming with Matchstick Productions.

The 39-year-old McConkey base jumped off the Peak 2 Peak gondola on opening day last December.

Shane McConkey has been described as an "icon and a legend" amongst extreme skiers. He won numerous competitions, including the X Games and World Extreme Skiing Championships. He was also one of the leaders in the freeskiing movement, helping establish the International Freeskiing Tour.

Born in Vancouver and based in Squaw Valley, McConkey is survived by his wife, Sherry, and 3-year-old daughter, Ayla.

In an interview with FOX television in Los Angeles two weeks ago McConkey said: "To me, the real sport of skiing is going out there on the mountain and choosing your own line - big mountain freeskiing."

"That means jumping off cliffs, skiing areas that are dangerous."

McConkey had been a passionate skydiver and base jumper for some time, but in recent years he began incorporating base jumping into big mountain skiing - taking parachutes to the backcountry and skiing off cliffs.

"We as humans have this built in need to see what's possible, to explore," he told FOX.