From the Associated Press
GRINDELWALD, Switzerland — Canadian racer Nick Zoricic died from head injuries after crashing heavily in a World Cup skicross event Saturday, the International Ski Federation said.
The Toronto skier died at 12.35 p.m. Swiss time as a result of “severe neurotrauma,” the federation said in a statement.
The 29-year-old Zoricic crashed directly into safety nets lining the side of the course after going wide over the final jump.
Television pictures showed Zoricic tumbling through the nets as his skis and poles were thrown clear.
“Nick Zoricic fell heavily just before the finish in the round of eight, crashing directly into the safety netting and thereafter lying motionless,” FIS said.
“The medical care from team doctors and Air Glacier followed immediately. Despite reanimation, Zoricic died at 12.35 as a result of severe neurotrauma.
“The organizing committee, FIS and Swiss Ski express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Nick Zoricic and the Canadian Ski Team,” the statement said.
Organizers abandoned Saturday’s World Cup events and then scheduled World Cup Finals races at the same venue Sunday.
Zoricic, a member of the Craigleith Ski Club in Ontario, has raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years and was competing in his 36th event Saturday. He placed eighth in the 2011 World Championships held at Deer Valley, Utah.
Alpine Canada paid glowing tribute to Zoricic, saying he was “a very talented young ski racer and a great athlete who was much loved by his teammates and fellow competitors.”
“He will be greatly missed by all of us and the ski community as a whole,” it added.
“I can’t believe this tragic news. Nick Zoricic has died? I’m sick to my stomach,” Canadian former Alpine racer Brian Stemmle wrote on Twitter.
Zoricic is the second Canadian freestyle team member to die in a skiing accident this year.
In January, Winter X Games champion Sarah Burke died from her injuries nine days after crashing during halfpipe training in Park City, Utah. She also was 29.
United States racer Ted Ligety also posted a message of condolence for Zoricic on Twitter soon after winning an Alpine World Cup giant slalom race in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
“Skiing is a great sport that gives but it also takes, sad day to lose Nick Zoricic, you’ll be missed bud,” Ligety wrote.
Grindelwald has been a venue on the skicross World Cup circuit since 2005. The Swiss village beneath the Eiger and Jungfrau mountain peaks was hosting a meeting for the fifth straight year.