Skier hit tree in fa­tal crash

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

David Pois­son, a pop­u­lar French na­tional ski team vet­eran and for­mer Olympian, was killed Mon­day morn­ing in a train­ing crash near Cal­gary.

Pois­son, 35, was a World Cup bronze medal­list in 2013 and com­peted in the Van­cou­ver and Sochi Win­ter Olympics.

Hop­ing to qual­ify for the Pyeongchang Games in Fe­bru­ary, he was train­ing for World Cup races in North Amer­ica in the re­sort of Nakiska and, ac­cord­ing to po­lice, crashed through safety net­ting af­ter catch­ing an edge. He struck a tree and died. “When we ar­rived we as­sessed an in­di­vid­ual and de­ter­mined him de­ceased on scene,” Cal­gary EMS spokesper­son Adam Lo­ria said.

“There was no trans­fer to hos­pi­tal. We ini­tially called out STARS (air am­bu­lance), but once we made the de­ter­mi­na­tion we did stand the he­li­copter down.”

The news of Pois­son’s death was con­firmed by the French ski­ing fed­er­a­tion, which said it joins “the pain of his loved ones in these par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult times.”

Laura Fles­sel, France’s min­is­ter of sports, said the cir­cum­stances of the crash in­volv­ing the pop­u­lar skier whose nick­name was “Cail­lou” (for “small stone” be­cause of his small, stocky build) will be in­ves­ti­gated.

Pois­son was praised by the In­ter­na­tional Ski Fed­er­a­tion as a “re­spected and ac­com­plished ath­lete on the World Cup tour ever since his de­but in 2004.” Pois­son was sev­enth in down­hill ski­ing in the 2010 Van­cou­ver games and 16th in the 2014 Games in Sochi.

Chemmy Al­cott, a four-time Olympic skier, tweeted that he was “such a lovely man,” and added, “Can’t be­lieve the tragic news. A great guy who was al­ways ei­ther charg­ing or smil­ing.”

The Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup will take place next week­end. Pois­son is his coun­try’s first alpine World Cup ski­ing death since Regine Cav­agnoud was killed in a train­ing ac­ci­dent in 2001.

“There is no word for that,” for­mer French down­hiller Luc Al­p­hand told L’Equipe. “Elim­i­nat­ing risk en­tirely in down­hill is im­pos­si­ble.”

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