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Swimsuit ski fan pays Kobe tribute at World Cup finish line

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Schladming (Austria) (AFP)

Wearing only a black swimsuit and ignoring temperatures hovering just above freezing, a young woman almost brought chaos to a World Cup skiing event on Wednesday as she paid tribute to basketball start Kobe Bryant.

In front of 50,000 fans at Austria's famed Schladming men's slalom race, the inappropriately-clad blonde woman casually stepped from the crowd, holding up a banner with the words 'RIP Kobe. Legend'.

She passed beneath the finish line, triggering the timing device for Italy's Alex Vinatzer who crossed just behind her.

Vinatzer celebrated, wrongly believing he was leading the race before being eventually classified as sixth overall.

"I asked myself: 'What happened'," said the Italian.

"It was so funny. I hadn't seen her during my run.

"I'm not too disappointed but it will certainly make a beautiful photo-finish, I imagine."

Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen won the race ahead of France's Alexis Pinturault and Daniel Yule of Switzerland.

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