Canadian ski cross racer and Winter Olympic hopeful Nik Zoricic died last weekend following a serious collision during the World Cup ski cross race in Switzerland. Zoricic crashed into safety netting in the finish area of the course, and suffered severe brain and head trauma which proved fatal.
This incident is just one of the unfortunate freak accidents that have occurred to competitive alpine and freestyle skiers over the past few years.
Earlier this year another Canadian skier Sarah Burke died from a ruptured artery during a training accident. Burke was a four time Winter X Game Gold medallist, she also pioneered the superpipe event which was later added to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics were she was considered a gold medal favourite.
Although accidents like this are rare, they are no less tragic and alpine athletes take on a great risk when they do compete. With any extreme sport, there is always a risk, but they can be minimised by taking proper safety precautions. Avoid backcountry areas if you’re not an experienced skier, and if you are skiing with children, make sure you research the club or group that your child is planning to join.