Swiss downhill skier Barandun dies in paragliding accident

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Gian Luca Barandun, a World Cup downhill skier from Switzerland, has died in a paragliding accident. He was 24.

The Swiss ski federation said Barandun, one of its best prospects in Alpine speed races, died Sunday morning.

“In this difficult period all of the Swiss ski family is thinking of Gian Luca’s family,” Markus Wolf, the federation’s director general, said Monday in a statement.

Barandun started in eight World Cup downhill races. He placed 15th in Switzerland’s signature race, the Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, in January.

He also had 20th-place finishes in downhills in Val Gardena and Bormio, Italy, last December. His career-best World Cup result was ninth-place finish in an Alpine combined event in Bormio in December.