At the age of 37, Mateusz Rutkowski, the junior world champion in ski jumping from 2004, has passed away. The sad news was shared by the Polish Ski Association on social media.
In February 2004, Rutkowski clinched the junior world title in Stryn, Norway, defeating the likes of Thomas Morgenstern. This victory marked the beginning of his promising career, securing a silver medal in the team event alongside Kamil Stoch, Stefan Hula, and Dawid Kowal.
Debuting in the World Cup a month prior, Rutkowski faced challenges, finishing 37th in Liberec. Despite achieving his career-best 15th place in Zakopane, he struggled with weight, discipline, and alcohol issues, leading to his exclusion from the national team after the 2004/2005 season.
Rutkowski’s last FIS competition was in 2006, ending with a 32nd position in the Summer Continental Cup in Velenje. Despite his setbacks, he left an indelible mark on the sport, setting a personal record of 201.5 meters during the 2004 junior world championships in Planica.