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FIS, Alpine Canada respond to Zoricic family

The FIS has responded to Nik Zoricic’s family after media requests for information following Wednesday’s press conference. That statement and one from Alpine Canada’s president Max Gartner follow:

FIS statement: Six weeks have now passed since the fatal accident that claimed the life of Nik Zoricic at the World Cup ski cross competition in Grindelwald that has deeply touched the ski community. The thoughts and sympathies of the FIS family are with his family and friends during these difficult times.

Following numerous media inquires as a result of the press conference called by Timothy Danson, legal counsel to the parents of Nik Zoricic, we would like to provide an update on the activities that have been undertaken, as well as those planned.

An official investigation into the accident in Grindelwald is being undertaken by the Swiss police and state authorities. In view of the upcoming FIS Committee Meetings and Congress at the end of May, we approached the authorities to ask about the timeline for determining the outcome of the investigation and were advised that the preliminary timeline will be assessed at the end of May or beginning of June.

It is the goal of FIS to try to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future and considerable work is being undertaken through the Injury Surveillance System. At the Technical Committee meetings in Korea, the ski cross advisory group with alpine skiing specialists and snowboard cross experts will be reviewing the rules, specifications and processes as part of their post-season evaluation. Additionally, in view of the evolution of ski cross especially with its inclusion on the program of the Olympic Winter Games, the Council has planned to address appointing a specialist sub-committee.

To emphasize the importance of athlete safety and oversee the various different activities that have been going on and continue to develop in respect of all FIS disciplines, it is foreseen that a member of the FIS Council will be appointed to oversee this area of activity.

Max Gartner’s statement:
“Our thoughts and support continue to be with Nik’s family and loved ones. Nik’s death has been a tremendous loss for the family, our team and the ski community. Alpine Canada shares the same desire as Nik’s family to learn any lessons from this tragic accident. There is presently an investigation underway by the Swiss police and state authorities; Alpine Canada plans to thoroughly review the findings of the investigation.

“Alpine Canada is also working with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to try to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future and will actively participate in the FIS ski cross advisory group which includes alpine-skiing specialists and snowboard experts. This group will be reviewing ski cross rules, specifications and processes as part of their post- season evaluation.

“The safety of our athletes is our No. 1 priority. In addition to holding an internal review, in the fall Alpine Canada will be holding a second-annual Safety Summit.”

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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