Giulia Steingruber in Rio. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Giulia Steingruber’s sister Desirée has died aged 26 of viral pneumonia, the Tages Anzeiger reports.

Désirée Steingruber was born with severe health issues, and used to live in a special clinic.

In a long interview for the series The Hard Way to Success last year, Giulia gave a moving account of their sisterly bond. Since her sister was paralysed, Giulia explained, her gymnastics was a way to move for her too.

Giulia Steingruber won a bronze medal on vault at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio, and made history, becoming the first Swiss female gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics. She is currently recovering from a surgery she underwent last January.

By Talitha Ilacqua



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