Skier Nik Zoricic's death not 'freak accident': family
Friends and family of Nik Zoricic embrace each other following his funeral in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2012. (Pawel Dwulit / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, April 23, 2012 9:20PM EDT
The parents of Canadian skicross racer Nik Zoricic, who died during a World Cup race in Switzerland last month, are disputing claims that his fatal fall was a "freak accident."
The lawyer for Predrag (Bebe) Zoricic and Silvia Brudar has scheduled a news conference in Toronto this Wednesday, saying the grieving parents want to discus "the real facts leading to Nik's death."
"Many have characterized Nik's death as a ‘freak' accident," Timothy Danson of law firm Danson Recht LLP said in a news release. "Such a characterization distorts the truth and does a serious disservice to Nik. A more informed and honest discussion is needed."
The Zoricic family is hoping to prevent similar tragedies in the future, Danson said.
Zoricic, a 29-year-old experienced skier from Toronto, suffered severe head injuries and died on March 10 when he smashed into a safety net at the side of a skicross course in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
It was the final jump in the race.
At the time, Alpine Canada president Max Gartner said Zoricic's crash was a "freak accident." He said there is no reason to believe that the skicross race is unsafe.
But others have questioned the design of the landing area and whether the safety netting was properly installed.
Swiss authorities and the ski federation are investigating Zoricic's death.
In skicross competitions, racers navigate a course of banks and ridges, making various jumps to reach the finish line. Zoricic had raced on the World Cup circuit for more than three years.
His death was a huge blow to Canada's professional skiing community, already reeling from the loss of another young star, Sarah Burke.
Burke, also 29, died in January after crashing during a freestyle skiing training run in Utah.
In a written statement released shortly after Zoricic's death, his father said: "Nik loved what he did. Ski racing was his life and he enjoyed every moment of it."