A Canadian skier has died as a result of injuries sustained in a horrendous crash in a World Cup ski cross event in Switzerland.
29-year old Nick Zoricic suffered serious head injuries after crashing in the finish area during a heat in the ski cross finals in the Swiss resort of Grindelwald yesterday.
Zoricic was airlifted to hospital in Interlaken and was pronounced dead at 12.35pm local time yesterday. The cause of death was given as “severe neurotrauma”.
Commenting on the tragic loss, Alpine Canada president Max Gartner said: "We've lost one of our athletes on the ski World Cup and you can imagine everyone in the organisation is just devastated getting that news this morning.
"Nick, as far as I know, is a model athlete. He's extremely dedicated who has gone about his business and found his home in ski cross."
The ski-cross race and today’s World Cup events were immediately cancelled by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.
"We have been working … very closely with race organisers to assess exactly what happened and what we know is Nik crashed into the safety nets after he completed the final jump during the fourth heat," Gartner added.
"The accident took place in the finish area, no other racers were involved."
President of the International Olympic committee Jacques Rogge said: “This is a very sad day for the whole Olympic movement.
"He was a young, gifted athlete who tragically died doing the sport he loved. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fellow competitors."
Zoricic finished eighth at last year's world championships had raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years. His death follows on from the tragic death of another Canadian alpine athlete, Sarah Burke, in a training accident in Utah in January.