French skier David Poisson, a downhill bronze medallist at the 2013 world championships, was killed during a training accident in Canada on Monday (Nov 13), the French ski federation announced.
"David Poisson reportedly hit a tree after passing through the safety nets."The Nakiska resort in Canada is used by many teams for preparation ahead of the World Cup events at Lake Louise on November 25-26". He struck a tree and died at the scene. "We initially called out STARS [air ambulance], but once we made the determination we did stand the helicopter down".
"Devastated by the news", the president of the FFS Michel Vion, the national technical director Fabien Saguez and the entire coaching and administrative staff of the Federation, "join in the pain of his loved ones in these times particularly hard", says the press release of the Federation.
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.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) extended its condolences to Poisson's teammates and friends upon hearing of the incident, saying in a statement that the Frenchman was a "respected and accomplished athlete". He represented France in 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Poisson was training with along with other competitors from around the world at the resort of Nakiska in the western province of Alberta. "Eliminating risk entirely in downhill is impossible".