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Rebecca Adlington pays tribute to Camille Muffat as world mourns French sports stars

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The world of sport is mourning the loss of three of its stars, following a tragic helicopter collision that claimed the lives of Camille Muffat, Florence Arthaud and Alexis Vastine. On Tuesday morning, tributes were pouring in for the eight French nationals and two Argentinians who were killed when two helicopters collided in Argentina during filming for the reality TV show Dropped. Among those who lost their lives were Olympic swimming champion Camille, boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence, the Argentinian government confirmed.

camille1 © Photo: Getty Images

Florence Arthaud, Camille Muffat and Alexis Vastine

British Olympian Rebecca Adlington posted a heartfelt tribute to her former fellow competitor on Twitter. "So sad and shocked to wake up to hear the tragic death of Camille Muffat. She was an amazing sportswoman, competitor and lovely person," she wrote. "My thoughts go out to not only all her friends and family but to all the family and friends of all the 10 victims. It's an extremely sad day." Alongside two photos of herself on the podium with 25-year-old Camille, who won gold in the 400m freestyle at London 2012, she added, "RIP Olympic Champion Camille Muffat. You will be dearly missed. X."

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Alexis, 28, claimed the light welterweight bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. British boxer Stephen Smith was among those who remembered the "very talented" athlete. "RIP to the very talented French boxer @alexisvastine who died in a helicopter crash. Boxed in loads of tournaments with him, nice lad," he tweeted. Florence, 57, was considered one of the best sailors in the world. She became a female icon in 1990 after becoming the first woman to win the Route du Rhum, the prestigious solo Atlantic race – a feat that earned her the enduring nickname, 'fiancée of the Atlantic'.

camille muffat © Photo: Getty Images

Camille Muffat on the podium with Rebecca after winning the 400m freestyle at London 2012

All three had been due to appear in the TV survival show Dropped. The show flies celebrities into rough terrain by helicopter and films their attempts to find food and shelter. Former Arsenal and French footballer Sylvain Wiltord, who was taking part in the current series, spoke of his shock. "I'm trembling, I can't talk," he wrote. "I'm horrified." French president Francois Hollande said in a statement published on the website of French daily Liberation: "The brutal demise of our compatriots is an immense sadness."

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