France coach dies in crash

PARIS (Reuters) – France Alpine ski team coach Severino Bottero died in a car crash yesterday, a team official told Reuters. The Italian Bottero, who coached the French men’s giant slalom team, died on a motorway in the French Alps on his way to a training camp in Switzerland. He was 47. French motorway services said his car left the road and no other vehicle was apparently involved in the accident. «This is a drama and a disaster for French skiing,» French ski federation technical director Gerard Rougier said. Rougier described Bottero as a cautious driver but observed how much time ski coaches have to spend on dangerous mountain roads. Bottero, whose death occurred just over a month before the start of the Turin Winter Olympics, coached Frederic Covili, the 2002 giant slalom World Cup champion and a bronze medalist at the 2001 world championships. Also under Bottero’s guidance was Joel Chenal, the winner of a World Cup giant slalom in Alta Badia in 1999. Bottero joined the France team in 1996, coaching the women’s giant slalom team until 1999, then the men’s until 2003. He left to coach Italy with frustrating results and, in May last year, returned to France.

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