Legendary Italian downhill racer and 1994 World Championship bronze medallist Corrado Hérin has passed away in a plane crash in the Aosta Valley.
Hérin, 52, was flying an ultralight aircraft around 3pm yesterday when it crashed near the Torgnon ski lift, he was killed on impact while another man has been taken to hospital and is reported to be seriously injured.
Hérin first found success as a luge athlete, winning two gold and two silver medals at the FIL World Luge Natural Track Championships. In the early 90s he made the transition to downhill and almost instantly earned a bronze medal at the 1994 Vail World Championships. He followed this up by winning three consecutive World Cups (Mont Sainte Anne, Sierra Nevada, Nevegal) in 1997 and taking the World Cup overall.
After his racing career, he became technical director of the Italian downhill and four-cross national teams. He was also a renowned track builder and designed courses for the Pila World Cup and Livigno World Championships. To celebrate his 50th birthday he returned to mountain bike racing at the master's World Championships in Val di Sole, where he won his age category by 30 seconds.
In a tribute on social media, Greg Minnaar posted
: "A gentleman and a legend tragically gone to soon . I’ll never forget your wildness on the bike. Riposare in pace," while Nigel Page wrote
: "One of the fastest Downhill racers of all time, super modest, always had time to stop and chat and an absolute gentleman. RIP Corrado."
Corrado leaves behind his partner Roberta Gyppaz and two sons Ester and Erik. Our thoughts go out to them and all his family and friends at this tragic time.