The sporting world has reacted with shock and sadness over the tragic death of Olympic gold medallist Vibeke Skofterud.

The Norwegian cross-country skier died in a jet-ski accident at 38, Norwegian authorities said on Monday.

Skofterud was reported missing on Saturday and her body found on Sunday morning on a small island near the town of Arendal.

"All the indications are that it was a jet-ski accident," Sveinung Alsaker of the local police said in a press release.

Skofterud won gold in the 4 x 5km relay at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010.

She was also part of the team that won the same event at the 2005 and 2011 World Championships.