Skier Dies After Crashing During Race

March 10, 2012 by staff 

Skier Dies After Crashing During Race, Toronto ski racer Nik Zoricic died Saturday from injuries sustained in a high-speed crash during a World Cup skicross race in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

It was the second tragedy to rock the Canadian ski community in the past two months, following the death of freeskiing legend Sarah Burke after a crash while training on a superpipe in Utah in January.

Zoricic lost control over the final big bump on the course, crashing hard into the safety netting and piste. He rolled over limply a few times before coming to a stop and lying motionless. He was airlifted to hospital immediately, but the International Ski Federation (FIS) later announced he died from “severe neurotrauma.” The race has been cancelled.

“Honestly, I’m in shock,” said Alpine Canada president Max Gartner. “I got that call at 4 in the morning and first you just can’t believe it. It’s surreal. It’s like a bad dream.

“Then you go into emergency planning mode. Obviously, it’s devastating for the family. When you have kids, you know you can’t imagine getting that phone call. We’re trying to figure out what happened and look after his family and our athletes on the team.”

The Zoricic family was a fixture on the Ontario ski scene after coming to Canada from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, when Nik was just five. His father, Bebe Zoricic, is the FIS coach at the Craigleith Ski Club in the Blue Mountains ski area.

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