Poisson hit tree in training crash death: Federation

PARIS: French skier David Poisson, a downhill bronze medallist at the 2013 world championships, died after he lost a ski and hit a tree after falling heavily in training, the French ski federation said Tuesday.

"According to information currently available to the French ski federation, David Poisson fell heavily after losing a ski during a shared training session with other countries which took place yesterday (Monday) in Nakiska, Canada," the federation said.

"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 Nov 25-26.

"The French ski federation has since last night been in contact with David's family to support and accompany it in this terrible moment," the federation added.

Poisson, who lost his own father to cancer two weeks ago, was a hugely popular figure on the World Cup circuit, known by his nickname of "Caillou" — the French for pebble — given his short muscular build.

He made his World Cup debut in 2004 at the age of 20, earning his sole podium when he finished third in the downhill in Santa Caterina last season.

Poisson, a father of a young son, also competed at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics at Vancouver and Sochi, respectively finishing seventh and 16th in the downhill races. — AFP