The 29-year-old had crashed unbraked into a catch fence after a jump shortly before the finish line, had been knocked over and lay motionless. "Despite reanimation zoricic succumbed at 12.35 o’clock his injuries, it must be assumed a serious schadel brain trauma," wrote swiss-ski in a message. After the serious accident, racing was cancelled on both days of the world cup finals. Instead, on sunday morning, the teams plan to travel the route together in a memorial service and lay flowers at the site of the accident.
For the canadian freestylers it is the second heavy blow within two months. In mid-january, halfpipe world champion sarah burke died after a fall in training. "Nik was a talented young skiracer and a great athlete who was very popular with his teammates and opponents. He will be greatly missed by all of us and the entire ski community," wrote max gartner, president of alpine canada, in an association statement. "You will be missed, my friend," canadian ski racer julien cousineau also tweeted.
"There’s not much that goes through your head except grief and dismay," said a horribly upset german sports director, heli herdt, in grindelwald. In his opinion, the safety net was not too close to the track. "It was a chain of unfortunate circumstances," said herdt. Germany’s thomas fischer also took part in zoricic’s eighth-final run, but had already fallen far behind after making a mistake.
The entire ski family mourns the loss of zoricic. "Skiing is a great sport, which gives a lot, but also takes away a lot. It’s a sad day to lose nik zoricic," ted ligety wrote on twitter, calling for lessons to be learned from the drama. But in the view of many involved, it was still too early for a security debate to follow. "It is such a sad day for skicross. Our thoughts and prayers are with nick’s family, the canadian skicross team and the entire skicross family," the british skicross team shared on its facebook page.
Both his parents were skiers, so zoricic, who was born in sarajevo, was on the boards for the first time when he was two years old. At the age of five he emigrated with his family to toronto. Between 2003 and 2005 the bob marley fan competed in four alpine world cup races, since august 2008 he competed in the freestyle field. Last time he was on the podium in january as third at the world cup in les contamines. "My career goal is to win a medal (at the olympics) in sochi 2014," wrote zoricic on the internet site of his outfitter.