Nick Zoricic, a Canadian Ski Cross athlete, is dead after suffering head injuries following a crash in a World Cup skicross event Saturday, the International Ski Federation has announced. (See a video of the crash below.)
The federation said that Zoricic crashed heavily during the Ski Cross event in Grindelwald. Zoricic, 29, died as a result of severe neurotrauma.
Zoricic fell heavily just before the finish in the round of eight, crashing directly into the safety netting and thereafter laying motionless, the website stated. Medical care was administered immediately by team doctors, with expert care by the Swiss emergency response team Air Glacier following within minutes.
The organizers canceled the event in Grindelwald as well as Saturday's race and the World Cup Final on March 11 following Zoricic's death. The Organising Committee, FIS, and Swiss-Ski also expressed condolences to Zoricic's family and the Canadian Ski Team.
Zoricic began his ski career as an Alpine athlete and later moved onto Ski Cross. The 29 year old raced on World Cup circuit for more than three years. He achieved two podium places in his Ski Cross career and was sixth in the overall standings in 2011, according to the federation.
The Canadian team has also expressed its condolences.
Alpine Canada President Max Gartner told The Associated Press that Nick was a very talented young ski racer and a great athlete who was much loved by his teammates and fellow competitors.
Gartner also told the Star that he is shocked at Zoricic's death.
I got that call at 4 in the morning and first you just can't believe it, he said. It's surreal. It's like a bad dream.
We're trying to figure out what happened and look after his family and our athletes on the team, Gartner added.
Zoricic is the second Canadian skier to die this season.In January, freestyle skier Sarah Burke, 29, died after a training accident on a halfpipe in Utah.