Jean Daniel Pession dead at 28 after fatal fall with girlfriend on hike | Other | Sport

Professional skiier Jean Daniel Pession and his girlfriend Elisa Arlian have died after falling more than 2,000 feet off a mountain. The pair, both aged 28, were climbing Mount Zerbion on the Pennine Alps in Italy when they fell but it is not known what caused the accident.

The alarm was raised by their families when they did not come home, prompting the launch of three helicopters including mountain rescue as well as police and fire services. According to The Mirror, they were found with ‘obvious fall injuries’ with their lifeless bodies still embracing one another.

Italian outlet Rai, the country’s national public broadcaster, have reported that Pession and Arlian fell around 2,300 feet off the mountain before being buried in snow. A signal from one of their mobile phones was said to have alerted rescuers to their location.

The news of their deaths was confirmed by the Italian Winter Sports Federation, who said in a statement: “A terrible tragedy strikes the world of winter sports and speed skiing in particular.

“Jean Daniel Pession, a 28-year-old member of the World Cup team, lost his life in a tragic mountain accident that occurred above Champoluc. His girlfriend also died together with Pession.

“Over the course of his career, the Aosta Valley native had achieved the best results in 2021, placing 15th in the final World Cup ranking, while at the World Championships he came 22nd in Vars in 2022.

“President Flavio Roda and the entire Federation express their condolences to the Pession family for this tragic misfortune.”

Roda himself added: “This is a terrible tragedy for the world of winter sports, especially speed skiing. On behalf of the entire federation, I extend our deepest condolences to the Pession family during this unimaginable time of grief.”

Aosta Valley’s regional council president Alberto Bertin also paid an emotional tribute to the couple, saying: “Two young lives cut short by a mountain accident, that mountain which was their passion. In this moment of deep sadness, we express our closeness to the families, friends, and the entire sports community, embracing them with affection and compassion.”

Pession featured in Italy’s team for the World Cup and secured his best result three years ago when he finished 15th. Arlian, meanwhile, was a cross-country skiing instructor and a primary school teacher.

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