Skier’s life a true inspiration

Toronto, ON, March 10, 2012

Like any national athlete, Nik Zoricic was determined to win.

The 29-year-old Canadian Ski Cross racer born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina tragically lost his life Saturday after succumbing to head injuries caused during a crash on the World Cup circuit in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

In his national athlete bio, Zoricic had written that he “wanted to ski the best he can … and win.” This kind of passion is an inspiring example so important to our national pride and identity, said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut in a statement.

“It was with great sadness we learned that Canada lost a member of its sport community today,” he said. “On behalf of the Canadian Olympic Committee, I extend heartfelt condolences to the friends, family and teammates of Nik Zoricic, as well as to all those at Alpine Canada. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone in the ski and sport community during this difficult time.”

Zoricic grew up fully immersed in the Ontario ski community as a member of the Craigleith Ski Club where his father is a coach.

He had been collecting Top-10 finishes on the World Cup Ski Cross circuit in just three seasons of racing, including a fifth-place result in February last year on a local Ontario course at Blue Mountain. The Toronto resident earned podium finishes twice – a silver in St. Johann, Austria in 2011 and a recent bronze in Les Contamines, France in January. He was eighth at last year’s World Championships.

The news of his death resonated heavily throughout Canada’s sport community and especially within Alpine Canada’s ski family.

“Nik was a very talented young ski racer and a great athlete who was much-loved by his teammates and fellow competitors,” the National Sport Federation said Saturday in a statement.

Other than skiing, Zoricic has said he enjoyed tennis and golf and looked up to heroes like Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark for his talent. He also expressed admiration for the dominating personalities and impressive legendary results of Italy’s Alberto Tomba and Austria’s Hermann Maier.

While his young life was ended too early and he was not able to fulfil all of his aspirations as a competitive skier, Zoricic has forever inspired a nation with undeniable passion and dedication to a racing life – an accomplishment more enduring, powerful and much larger than a trophy.

His friends, family, coaches and teammates at Alpine Canada expressed a sentiment Saturday that is shared across the entire sport community in Canada:

“He will be greatly missed by all of us.”