Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ski Cross tragedy

The past two days here in Switzerland have been an absolute emotional rollercoaster. On Saturday 10th March, the skiing community lost an amazing athlete and friend. Nik Zoricic of Canada passed away after a fatal crash in the ski cross World Cup in Grindelwald. He was 29 years old. In what was shaping up to be a beautiful sunny day in the Swiss Alps, ended tragically when Nik crashed into the finish area safety nets off the last jump in finals. In a statement from the International Ski Federation, Nik died of “severe neurotrauma” soon after he was flown by helicopter to Interlaken hospital. 

Unsurprisingly, the final two World Cups of the season were cancelled.

Nik was an incredibly talented athlete, achieving two World Cup podiums in his career, one being less than two months ago in Les Contamines, France.

Yesterday the entire ski cross community, including over 200 athletes, coaches and officials, came together at the top of the race course to remember Nik Zoricic. We all wore blue jeans in memory of Nik’s first ever ski cross World Cup in Cyprus Mountain, Canada, where he sported blue jeans in the race. It was an extremely emotional day as we all skied down the course together one final time as a group. We then placed roses at the accident site in the finish area, beside a burning fire and a photo of Nik. In the afternoon we all got together for a curling match. In was nice to have a few laughs together, and to remember Nik for all the good times we had with him.

My heart goes out to Nik’s family and friends back home, as well as the Canadian Ski Cross Team and the entire skiing community. It is a devastating loss and one that I will never forget.

The World Cup season is now officially over and I am on my way home via America. I am spending one week in Aspen, Colorado where I am planning on taking it easy and enjoying the mountains. I am looking forward to freeskiing without a schedule to attend to. After such an upsetting experience like this, I think it’s important to remind myself how much I love skiing, and not to take any second of it for granted.

(Nik Zoricic of the Canadian Ski Cross Team) 


(The Australian Ski Cross Team wearing our blue jeans in memory of Nik)

(Chris Del Bosco and Davey Barr of the Canadian Ski Cross Team)

(The Memorial)
(The afternoon curling match)
(Grindelwald World Cup)