When the Canadian skicross team took the course on Thursday, they did so wearing an unorthodox uniform.
Instead of sporting their customary red and white unforms, the Canadians wore ski pants that looked like denim jeans as a way to honor their late teammate Nik Zoricic.
When Zoricic first took up skicross, he didn’t have the proper pants for the sport, so he competed in jeans. The look became his signature.
Zoricic crashed through the safety nets during the World Cup in 2012. He suffered severe head injuries and died in Grindelwald, Switzerland. He would have been 31 on Wednesday.
But teammates had Zoricic with them during the race on Thursday.
Canadian racers put stickers that said: “Ski for Nic” on the start house and at the bottom of the course. Teammate and friend David Duncan has a tattoo on his right shoulder of two skis depicting a cross and Zoricic's birthday.
"Nik will always be with us," Duncan told the Associated Press. “Nik's been with me every day ever since the accident. I think about him all the time."
[Photos: Team USA's Ralph Lauren collection]
Duncan was out of the competition after the first round, but took a moment to look at the Olympic rings and then up to the sky as a salute to his friend.
"I would've loved to have walked away with a victory or a podium today, and saluted him like I love to do," Duncan said. "It was just not in the cards today. I know he's still proud.
"As long as he's not forgotten, he's still with us."
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