Sacramento,CA : Skier seriously hurt in Tuesday's crash in Lake Louise dies in hospital on December, Wednesday 6th 2017
The victim, independently identified as 17-year-old German skier Max Burkhart, died Wednesday at Foothills Hospital in Calgary after the high-speed crash ahead of this week’s Nor-Am Cup at the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Banff EMS and ski patrol worked for nearly 30 minutes to stabilize the youth before he was airlifted to Foothills Hospital in Calgary in serious, life-threatening condition.
Witnesses on the hill Tuesday afternoon described to Postmedia a devastating scene, saying Burkhart lost control and collided with a fence.
Burkhart was a member of Ski Club Garmisch based in the German Alps, about 75 kilometres southwest of Munich, and was a student at Sugar Bowl Academy — a high school for competitive skiers near Lake Tahoe, Calif.
According to the International Ski Federation, Burkhart began his international skiing career in November 2016, competing in more than 60 downhill, slalom and super G races across Europe and North and South America.
Prior to the training run at Lake Louise on Monday, the Nor-Am Cup would have been Burkhart’s first competition in Canada.
Wednesday evening, a statement posted on Alpine Canada’s Facebook page confirmed the news and offered their support for Burkhart’s teammates and family.
Burkhart’s death comes just weeks after French downhill skier David Poisson was killed during a training run in nearby Nakiska, dying Nov. 13 after colliding with a tree.
Former competitive skier and Ski Racing Media senior editor Sean Higgins tells Postmedia these sorts of tragedies weigh heavily on the close-knit competitive skiing community.
“It’s easy to forget just how dangerous ski racing can be,” said Higgins, himself a former Nor-Am and NCAA skier.
“The tragic deaths of Max and David Poisson are sombre reminders of the risks these athletes take every day they are on the hill — the international skiing community is small and losses like these hit us hard.
“Our thoughts are with Max’s family, friends, teammates and coaches at this most difficult time.”
Skier seriously hurt in Tuesday's crash in Lake Louise dies in hospital