World Cup Skier And His Girlfriend Found Dead

Credit: @elisa.arlian & @jeandanielpession/Instagram

Professional skier Jean Daniel Pession has been found dead alongside his girlfriend Elisa Arlian.

People have been left horrified by the tragic news.

One fan pens: “How sad. Dreadful way to end their lives, a real tragedy… Many condolences to their heartbroken families and friends!”

Another adds: “That’s awful… praying for their families!”

“May you both rest in eternal peace. This is so sad and tragic! Condolences to their family & loved ones,” pens a third.

A fourth pens: “What a horrible way to pass away. So sorry for everyone involved.”

Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian
Professional skier Jean Daniel Pession has been found dead alongside his girlfriend Elisa Arlian. Credit: @elisa.arlian/Instagram

As a member of the World Cup team, throughout his career, Pession achieved his best results in 2021, finishing 15th in the final World Cup standings, while at the 2022 World Championships, he placed 22nd in Vars, in 2022.

His girlfriend, Elisa, was a cross-country ski instructor and elementary school teacher at the Saint-Marcel school.

In its statement, the Italian Winter Sports Federation highlighted Pession’s achievements.

“A terrible tragedy strikes the world of winter sports and speed skiing in particular,” the statement read, per NBC.

“President Flavio Roda and the entire Federation express their condolences to the Pession family for this tragic misfortune.”

Pession, a member of Italy’s World Cup speed skiing team, and his girlfriend had been climbing Mount Zerbion, a mountain of the Pennine Alps in Aosta Valley, Italy.

When they did not come home, their families raised the alarm and three helicopters including mountain rescue, police, and firefighter teams were launched.

Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian
Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian’s families reported them missing when they didn’t return from their hike. Credit: @elisa.arlian/Instagram

The pair tragically died in a mountain accident, the Italian Winter Sports Federation confirms.

They fell nearly 2,300 feet while hiking Mount Zerbion in Aosta Valley, Italy, according to a report from the Italian outlet RAI.

It is currently unknown what, exactly, caused the accident.

The couple’s bodies were discovered hours later, buried in the snow by search and rescue teams after their families reported them missing when they didn’t return from their 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 reported.

“Perhaps, while they continued along the ridge that divides the north and east faces, they slipped on the snow or the ground gave way.”

A device eventually picked up a signal from one of the couple’s cell phones, helping search teams locate their bodies.

According to RAI, “They were almost at the summit, just a step away, when suddenly they were betrayed by the mountain they loved so much. When they were found, they were still tied together, like in a final embrace.”

This news was posted in a video shared to X, formerly Twitter, and translated by People.

Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian
The couple were discovered locked in a final embrace. Credit: @jeandanielpession/Instagram

Aosta Valley’s Regional Council President Alberto Bertin also expressed his condolences, stating: “Two young lives broken by an accident in the mountains, that mountain which was their passion.

“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.”

Their funerals are expected to be held in their home villages on Tuesday morning.

Rest in peace.

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.