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In pictures: The perils and pitfalls of ski cross

'It's been called NASCAR on skis, and winter sport's answer to a roller derby,' Alpine Canada says. 'However you describe it, you can't claim ski cross - or skier-X, as it's also known - is boring.' It's a sport Canadian athletes have excelled in, with Ashleigh McIvor of Whistler, B.C., capturing the Olympic gold medal in it at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Chris Del Bosco being one of the top racers.

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Canada's Nik Zoricic, top, speeds down during the skicross World Cup finals, Saturday March 10, 2012 in Grindelwald Switzerland. Zoricic died from head injuries after crashing at the finish.

Samuel Truempy/AP/Samuel Truempy/AP

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Brady Leman of Canada, right, leads teammate Chris Del Bosco, middle, and Andreas Mass of Austria to the finish line in the same finishing order in the Men's Final of the FIS Ski Cross World Cup race at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, Friday, February 3, 2012.

Dave Chidley/CP/Dave Chidley/CP

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Christopher Del Bosco, of Canada, loses control in the air and crashes and finishes in fourth place during the men's ski cross final at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday February 21, 2010.

Darryl Dyck/CP/Darryl Dyck/CP

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Chris Del Bosco of Canada races to a first place finish in front of second-placed Jouni Pellinen, right, of Finland, third-placed Andreas Matt of Austria, left, and fourth-placed Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic during the men's ski cross finals at the FIS Freestyle World Championships in Park City, Utah February 4, 2011.

Mark Blinch/Reuters/Mark Blinch/Reuters

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Canada's second placed David Duncan, front, and Russia's Ivan Anikin in action during the men's skicross quarter final at the World Cup ski event in Bischofswiesen, southern Germany , Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

Kerstin Joensson/AP/Kerstin Joensson/AP

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Thomas Kraus of the Czech Republic and Chris Del Bosco of Canada, right, fly off a jump in a semi-final of the Rockstar Ski Cross Grand Prix races at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, Friday, February 11, 2011.

Dave Chidley/CP/Dave Chidley/CP

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Brady Leman of Canada celebrates his win at the FIS Ski Cross World Cup race at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario February 3, 2012.

Geoff Robins/Reuters/Geoff Robins/Reuters

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