Alpine Skiing: French skier Poisson dies in training crash

French Olympian killed while training at Nakiska

The French Ski Federation says an early investigation into the death of David Poisson, at Nakiska Monday, suggests the safety netting failed and he hit a tree.

Men's Downhill training - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - 26/01/17 - David Poisson of France in action.

Poisson, a 35-year-old racer with a broad smile nicknamed "Caillou" ("small stone"), was a popular figure on the World Cup circuit.

"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". "There was no transfer to hospital".

"Devastated by this news", the federation said in a statement, adding that it "shared the pain of (Poisson's) friends and family in these particularly hard moments".

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France's sports minister, Laura Flessel, said on Twitter Poisson died "during a fall" while training in Canada.

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".

A specialist in speed events, he finished seventh in the downhill event at the 2010 Olympics.

Other high-level skiers have joined the voices expressing shock at the incident, with British Olympian Chemmy Alcott notably tweeting that she "can't believe the tragic news", adding that he was "a great guy who was always either "charging" or smiling".

"There is no word for that", former French downhiller Luc Alphand told L'Equipe.

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