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Canada's Nick Zoricic dies after skicross crash

Nick_zoricic_skiier

Jan. 23, 2010: Canada's Nick Zoricic practicing for the mens ski cross qualifying round during World Cup freestyle skiing in Wilmington, N.Y. Zoricic died from head injuries after crashing heavily in a World Cup skicross event in Grindelwald, Switzerland, on Saturday March 10, 2012.

GRINDELWALD, Switzerland -- Canadian racer Nick Zoricic died from head injuries after crashing in a World Cup skicross event on Saturday, the International Ski Federation said.

The 29-year-old Zoricic died as a result of "severe neurotrauma," the federation said in a statement.

Zoricic crashed directly into safety nets lining the side of the course after going wide over the final jump. Television 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," the federation said. "The medical care from team doctors and Air Glacier followed immediately.

"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 canceled World Cup events for men and women on Saturday, along with the scheduled World Cup Finals races at the same venue on Sunday.

Zoricic has raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years and was competing in his 36th event. He placed eighth in the 2011 World Championships at Deer Valley, Utah.
Zoricic is the second Canadian skier to die this season.

In January, 29-year-old freestyle skier Sarah Burke died following a training accident on a halfpipe in Utah.

Zoricic was a member of the Craigleith Ski Club in Ontario.

"I can't believe this tragic news. Nick Zoricic has died? I'm sick to my stomach," former Canadian Alpine racer Brian Stemmle wrote on Twitter.

U.S. racer Ted Ligety also posted a message of condolence for Zoricic on Twitter soon after winning a 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 meet for the fifth straight year.