World Cup Alpine skier Bjorn Sieber of Austria died Friday after the van he was riding in swerved off a mountain road and rolled down a hill. The 23-year-old Sieber wasn’t on the team for Sunday’s season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, but was scheduled to be one of the skiers who test the course before a race.
“He was one the biggest all-round talents on the Austrian ski team,” the federation stated.
Police said Sieber’s brother Marc was hospitalized with unknown injuries after the van carrying the brothers went off a narrow road and rolled 70 yards down the hill.
Police said it was unclear who was driving the vehicle, which had to avoid oncoming traffic on the road in Austria’s most western province of Vorarlberg.
Men’s coach Mathias Berthold said the team was “in shock” and will wear black ribbons during the race on Sunday.
“This overshadows everything,” Berthold told reporters. “He was a great guy. He was loved by the team. We will miss him.”
Sieber won two medals at world junior championships — silver in giant slalom in 2009 and bronze in super-G in 2008.
Sieber’s best World Cup result was seventh at a super-combined event in February 2011 in Bansko, Bulgaria.