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Skier Jean Daniel Pession, Elisa Arlian Die After Falling Off Mountain

In World
June 04, 2024

Originally appeared on E! Online

The skiing community has suffered a heartbreaking loss.

Professional skier Jean Daniel Pession and his girlfriend Elisa Arlian have died in “a tragic mountain accident,” the Italian Winter Sports Federation confirmed June 1. He was 28 and she was 27.

The couple suffered an almost 2,300-foot fall while hiking Mount Zerbion in Aosta Valley, Italy, according to a translated article by Italian outlet RAI. Their bodies were discovered, per the outlet, buried in the snow by search and rescue teams hours after their families reported them missing when they didn’t return from the hike.

“It took hours and hours of flying over to locate them: there were no traces on the rock to suggest where they had fallen,” RAI wrote, per translation. “Perhaps, while they continued along the ridge that divides the north and east faces, they slipped on the snow or the ground gave way.”

The outlet added that a device was able to grab onto one of the couple’s cell phone signals, helping search and rescue narrow in on their location.

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“They were almost at the summit, just a step away, when suddenly they were betrayed by the mountain they loved so much,” RAI reported in a video shared to X, formerly Twitter, and translated by People. “When they were found, they were still tied together, like in a final embrace.”

Jean Daniel Pession, Elisa Arlian

Instagram / Jean Daniel Pession

In its statement, the Italian Winter Sports Federation noted Pession’s many accomplishments throughout his skiing career, including placing fifteenth in the 2021 final World Cup, as well as 22nd at the World Championships in 2022.

“A terrible tragedy strikes the world of winter sports and speed skiing in particular,” the statement included. “President Flavio Roda and the entire Federation express their condolences to the Pession family for this tragic misfortune.”

Aosta Valley’s Regional Council President Alberto Bertin also expressed his condolences.

“Two young lives broken by an accident in the mountains, that mountain which was their passion,” he said via translation, per RAI. “In this moment of profound sadness, we express our closeness to the families, friends and the entire sporting community, holding us close to them with affection and compassion.”

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