The U.S. Ski Team honored Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle, two young Olympic hopefuls killed in an avalanche Monday in Soelden, Austria.

Ronnie Berlack + Bryce Astle Killed In Avalanche

Berlack, 20, and Astle, 19, and four other skiers were in Austria freeskiing when the avalanche occurred. The four others managed to ski out of harm’s way, but Berlack and Astle were killed. They were both development-level ski racers, recently asked to train with the US Ski Team’s Development Team.

“Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport – both on the race course and skiing the mountain. Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them,” said US Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw in a statement.

Astle made his Olympic dreams clear on his Instagram profile. In his last post uploaded on Jan. 1, Astle used the hashtag “roadtopyeongchang,” referencing the 2018 Winter Olympics to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Berlack And Astle Found Under 10-13 Ft. Of Snow

Berlack and Astle’s ski group, all members of the Development Team, had reportedly gone off the safe trails, despite warnings that the avalanche risk level had ben raised to 3 out of 5. US Ski Team Men’s coach Sasha Rearick said that the four other skiers rushed to try to save their friends, saying, “The amount of strength and courage that those individuals demonstrated was remarkable.”

Hansjoerg Posch, who works at the Soelden resort where the group was skiing, said that rescuers “tried everything to save them.” Rescuers found Berlack and Astle buried under 10 to 13-feet of snow after a 60-minute search.

US Ski Team Honors Berlack And Astle

The US Ski Team held a moment of silence for Berlack and Astle on Tuesday at the Alpine World Cup in Zagreb, Croatia, many wearing black armbands as a sign of mourning.

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