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A Ski Cross Tragedy: Was it an Accident? the fifth estate Tells the Full Story of Nik Zoricic's Last Race

The Last Race airs on the fifth estate, Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC-TV

Nik Zoricic was one of the fastest members of the Canadian ski cross team, dreaming of representing Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Yet his life was cut short, when he crashed near the end of a World Cup race high in the Swiss Alps, in what course officials termed a freak accident. But as Mark Kelley of the fifth estate has learned in The Last Race, the accident wasn't so unpredictable: there were concerns from the first training runs that the last jump on the course was exceedingly dangerous, that race organizers were pushing the limits, and didn't heed the early warning flags.

The Last Race airs on CBC News' the fifth estate, Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC-TV.

VIDEO: click here to see a sneak preview

In the lead up to the 2013 Winter X Games in Colorado, the fifth estate takes a look at the most tragic accident in ski cross history, and tells the full story of ignored dangers and botched investigations. A team member recounts how, before the race, Nik Zoricic warned him, "if someone is going off on the right, they're going to die." The words proved prophetic. It would be Zoricic's last race.

And in the second half of the episode, Bob McKeown has new information that provides a compelling explanation for how and why the young Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died in the Vancouver Olympics. the fifth estate has new scientific findings from a leading expert on sports biomechanics that explain why Kumaritashvili was thrown off the track. The show also reveals e-mail traffic between Olympic organizers who share worries about how dangerous the track might be long before the young Georgian ever made his first running start in Vancouver. the fifth estate has been following this story for three years, and now presents stunning new information about a tragedy that shook the nation.

CBC News Network rebroadcasts the fifth estate on Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET and Sundays at 7 p.m. ET. For more information on the fifth estate, visit our website at www.cbc.ca/fifth, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Executive producer of the fifth estate is Jim Williamson.

To view past episodes of the fifth estate, and other CBC programming, visit CBC Player, download the CBC App for your mobile devices, and download CBC podcasts.

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