French skier David Poisson has died after a training accident at the Canadian ski resort of Nakiska, France's national ski federation has said. Poisson, 35, is survived by his wife and eighteen-month-old son.
The Frenchman - a bronze medal winner in downhill at the 2013 World Championships - was reportedly preparing for scheduled World Cup races due to take place in North America later this month.
"Shortly before the finish, traveling at around 100 km/h, Poisson slipped and went through two safety nets before shooting out into the woods," an eyewitness told Swiss tabloid Blick.
The French Ski Federation (FFS) said in a statement later on Tuesday afternoon that Poisson had lost a ski during a training run, crashed through the safety nets and reportedly hit a tree. An emergency team tried to revive Poisson for an hour and a half after the accident.
On other courses, many more resistant safety nets have since been implemented.
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."
Nicknamed "Caillou," the Frenchman was a popular figure on the World Cup circuit.
The FFS said it was in contact with Poisson's family and supporting them through the tragedy.
jh/hf (Reuters, dpa, blick.ch)