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.
Poisson is one of many skiers from several nations who have been training at Nakiska in advance of the World Cup event at Lake Louise later this month.
Poisson, a 35-year-old racer with a broad smile nicknamed "Caillou" ("small stone"), was a popular figure on the World Cup circuit.
"When we arrived we assessed an individual and determined him deceased on scene", Calgary EMS spokesperson Adam Loria said (via the National Post).
The news of Poisson's death was confirmed by the French skiing federation, which said it joins "the pain of his loved ones in these particularly hard times".
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France's sports minister, Laura Flessel, said on Twitter Poisson died "during a fall" while training in Canada.
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 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, the father of a young son, took part at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics at Vancouver and Sochi, finishing seventh and 16th respectively in the downhill races.
Chemmy Alcott, a four-time Olympic skier, tweeted that he was "such a lovely man", and added, "Can't believe the tragic news".
"There is no word for that", former French downhiller Luc Alphand told L'Equipe.