Two Olympic medalists are among the dead in tragic crash in Argentina

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated March 10, 2015 09:25 AM
Credit: Jean-Christophe Magnenet; Foc Kan/WireImage; Bertramd Guay/AFP/Getty

Ten people, including three well-known French athletes, are dead after two helicopters crashed Monday while filming a French celebrity-survivor show in northern Argentina.

The helicopters collided in mid-air while filming an episode of Dropped in La Rioja, an isolated Andes region, the BBC reported. Among the dead were two Olympic medalists – swimmer Camille Muffat, 25, and boxer Alexis Vastine, 28 – as well as sailing champion Florence Arthaud, 57.

Five other French nationals and two Argentine pilots were also killed.

Muffat was a triple medal winner at the 2012 Olympics in London, taking home gold (in the 400-meter freestyle), silver and bronze. Vastine won bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Friends say the boxer decided to participate in the program “for a change of air” following the death of his sister in a car accident two months ago.

Arthaud was a sailing legend. In 1990, she won the Route du Rhum, a solo transatlantic single-handed yacht race between France and Guadeloupe, beating the previous record by nearly two days.

French soccer star Sylvain Wiltord, who is also in the show’s cast but was not on either helicopter, wrote on Twitter: “I’m sad for my friends. I’m trembling. I’m horrified. I haven’t any words. I don’t know what to say.”

Wiltord, 40, posted a photo on Instagram just a week ago showing himself clowning around with Vastine.

“All France is in mourning” French prime minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday.

Dropped is an elimination style program in which celebrities are left in the wild and must find their way back to civilization without maps or GPS.