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World Cup skier Jean Daniel Pession dies with girlfriend after 2,300ft fall off mountain

Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlia - World Cup skier Jean Daniel Pession dies with girlfriend after 2,300ft fall off mountain
Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlia have died following a fall of Mount Zerbion

An Italian World Cup skier and his girlfriend have died after falling more than 2,000ft off a mountain.

Jean Daniel Pession, who was 28, and Elisa Arlian, a 27-year-old ski instructor and school teacher, were on a hike on Mount Zerbion, a popular Alpine spot for skiers in the Aosta Valley in Italy.

A rescue team was dispatched after the authorities were contacted by their families when they failed to return home and, with the help of three helicopters, their bodies were found in the snow.

It is thought that they fell around 2,300ft but the exact cause of the accident is unknown.

RAI, Italy’s national public broadcasting company, said they were almost at the summit when they fell into a void and that they were located after one of the rescue helicopters detected a signal from a telephone.

“They were betrayed by the mountain they loved so much,” said the report. “When they were found, they were still tied together, like in a final embrace.”

Pession had previously finished 15th in the skiing World Cup and was also in the top 25 in the World Championships two years ago. Their deaths were confirmed by the Italian Winter Sports Federation. “A terrible tragedy strikes the world of winter sports and speed skiing in particular,” said the statement.

“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 Pession family for this tragic misfortune.”

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