Canadian ski cross racer dies in World Cup crash

Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:53pm EST
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(Reuters) - Canadian Nik Zoricic died on Saturday after crashing in a World Cup ski cross race in the Swiss resort of Grindelwald, Alpine Canada said in a statement.

"National team member Nik Zoricic passed away this morning," said Alpine Canada president Max Gartner. "Nik was a very talented young ski racer and a great athlete who was much loved by his team mates and fellow competitors.

"He will be greatly missed by all of us and the ski community as a whole."

According to reports, Zoricic crashed in the finish area during the fourth heat of the ski cross finals.

The 29-year-old Canadian sustained head injuries and was airlifted to hospital in Interlaken where he was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m. local time.

The cause of death was given as "severe neurotrauma."

Zoricic had raced on the World Cup for more than three years and was competing in his 36th event Saturday.

It was the second tragedy to rock the Canadian ski racing community in the last two months following the death of freestyle skier Sarah Burke in a training crash in January in Utah.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Alan Baldwin; To query or comment on this story email