More than 1,500 people attended a memorial service at Lausanne cathedral for the Swiss marathon runner, Franziska Rochat-Moser, who died last week.This content was published on March 12, 2002 - 07:57
Many personalities from the worlds of sport and politics came to express their sympathy to the athlete's family and her husband, celebrity restaurateur Philippe Rochat, who lives in Crissier in canton Vaud. The state and local authorities, as well as representatives of the cantonal parliament, also attended the ceremony.
Magdalena Eggimann, Crissier's pastor, evoked the "bright and strong" memories left by Rochat-Moser. The sports agent and close family friend, Marc Biver, gave the eulogy.
"Your success seemed normal to us, like your charisma, your beauty," he said. "Your failures were forgotten, especially when you gave us great moments of Swiss sporting glory."
Rochat-Moser's ashes were buried after the service during a private ceremony. Another memorial service will be held next Monday in Bern.
The talented marathon runner earned international recognition in 1997 when she won the prestigious New York marathon. Two years later she set the current Swiss marathon record when she finished the Boston marathon in second place with a time of 2:25'51".
After struggling with a recurring hip problem, Rochat-Moser announced her retirement from the sport last year, but remained heavily involved with the running world.
Rochat-Moser had been skiing last Thursday with two friends near Les Diablerets in canton Vaud, when she was caught in a slab avalanche, which dragged her down the mountain for about 600 metres.
She spent over 24 hours in a critical condition at Lausanne's university hospital before succumbing to her injuries.
swissinfo with agencies
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