Nik Zoricic, a member of Alpine Canada’s national ski cross team, passed away on March 10, 2012 at the age of 29 after he was involved in a crash at a ski cross World Cup race in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
Born February 19, 1983 in Sarajevo, in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nik moved to Toronto, Ont., with his family when he was five.
A Craigleith Ski Club athlete and son of renowned alpine ski coach Bebe Zoricic, Nik touched many in the ski community in his years as both an alpine and ski cross racer. At six-foot-three, with long flowing hair and an infectious smile, he was often referred to as the ‘gentle giant’ of ski cross.
“He was just an amazing guy – always smiling or making somebody laugh,” said his teammate Chris Del Bosco.
Nik made the switch from alpine – where he had competed at the World Cup level in slalom – to ski cross in 2008. His fun-loving attitude endured him to his teammates, who fondly recall the time he competed in one of his first ski cross World Cup races wearing blue jeans.
In January 2011, Nik captured his first World Cup podium with a second-place finish in St. Johann, Austria - an event he described as one of his best moments in ski racing. He completed the 2010-11 season ranked fifth in the world after finishing in the top 10 six times. In January 2012, he was on the podium once again after a third-place finish at the World Cup stop in Les Contamines, France.
A talented athlete, who also excelled at tennis and golf, Nik helped Canada win the Nations’ Cup as the No. 1 ski cross team on the World Cup circuit for four years in a row. The team dedicated its 2011-12 Nations’ Cup victory to his memory.
Nik is survived by his parents, Bebe and Silvia, and younger sister, Katarina.
“Nik loved what he did. Ski racing was his life and he enjoyed every moment of it,” said his father, Bebe. “Nik was my inspiration.”
Nik is deeply missed but will always be remembered by everyone at Alpine Canada.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, tax-deductable donations can be made to The Nik Zoricic Foundation c/o Alpine Canada. These funds will be directed to The Nik Zoricic (NZ) Foundation, which will focus on supporting young athletes in Canada.