World Cup skier and girlfriend fall to their deaths on an Italian mountain

World Cup skier Jean Daniel Pession and his girlfriend, Elisa Arlian, fatally fell about 2,300 feet from Mount Zerbion in Italy, according to local reporting.

Pession, a 28-year-old member of the Italian national speed skiing team, and Arlian, a 26-year-old ski instructor and school teacher, died “in a tragic mountain accident,” a news release from the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) said.

The accident occurred atop the resort village Champoluc in Italy’s Aosta Valley region.

When they didn’t return from the peak, their family called emergency services, which immediately dispatched helicopters, Italian media outlet Rai reported.

Three crews conducted the search, which included efforts from alpine rescue, police and firefighters, per Rai. Their cellphone signals were pinpointed. Rescuers found them tied together, which is common for mountain scalers to do.

Pession placed 15th in the final World Cup ranking for 2021, the news release said, and while at the 2022 World Championships, he came in 22nd in Vars. He was an aspiring mountain guide.

“President Flavio Roda and the entire Federation express their condolences to Pession’s family for this tragic misfortune,” the FISI statement read.

“Two young lives destroyed by an accident on a mountain, that mountain which was their passion. In this moment of profound sadness, we express our closeness to the families, their friends and the whole sporting community, holding them tightly with affection and compassion,” Aosta Valley’s regional council president, Alberto Bertin, wrote in a statement

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