THE FAMILY OF Nikola Zoricic, a cross-ski competitor that passed away last month following a tragic fall, has called for an independent inquiry on the circumstances surrounding his death.
The 29-year-old skier veered to his right after jumping on the last hill of a race at Grindelwald, Switzerland on March 10.
Zoricic landed his jump near the un-groomed surface by the finishing line and hurtled over safety netting before landing heavily on his neck and head.
He died less than an hour after sustaining trauma to his brain and skull.
Family lawyer for the Zoricic family, Tim Danson described the finish line as a ‘death trap’. He added:
It is unacceptable that an elite athlete like Nik Zoricic can make a perfect landing, barely miss the finish line by one metre, and be killed for it.
The 29-year-old skier from Toronto had raced on the ski cross circuit for three years before the fatal accident.
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Zoricic’s father, Bebe, declared that the mound, or ‘crud’, of snow to the right of the finish line should not have been there. He also argued that the safety netting was the wrong type.
Zoricic did not qualify for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, in his home country, in 2010 but achieved his highest ever placing of second in a World Cup event the following year.
Sarah Lewis, of the International Ski Federation, commented, “The authorities are evaluating the situation and then they will give their verdict on what has happened.”
The results of the probe would be announced in May or June, she added.