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Brother of Olympic skier dies skiing

The brother of Canadian Olympic skier Edi Podivinsky has been killed in a ski accident in Montana.

Thomas Podivinsky's father, Edward Podivinsky, confirmed that his son died Sunday while on holiday with family and friends in the resort community of Whitefish.

The local sheriff's office said the 48-year-old oil executive from Calgary fell into hole at the base of a tree, called a tree well. Ski patrollers found his body but were unable to revive him.

He is the second man to die in a tree well in Whitefish this year.

"This is tragedy which nobody could have foreseen or expected," the father said Monday from his home in Canmore, Alta.

"Skiing was his passion. It was his sport."

The elder Podivinsky, a retired civil engineer, said his two boys learned how to ski while growing up in Edmonton. They were members of the local Snow Valley Ski Club.

"Tom was older. He was always a few steps ahead," recalled his father. "Edi was always trying to catch up with his big brother and became champion eventually."

Tom made the provincial ski team while his younger brother became a member of the national team and stayed on it for 13 years.

Edi won a World Cup in 1994, the same year he captured the bronze medal in the downhill at the Olympics in Lillehammer. It was the last time a Canadian won an alpine medal in the Olympics until last weekend, when Jan Hudec captured a bronze in the super G event in Sochi.

 

The Canadian Press

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