Student Death On Student Ski Trip

We all know the reputations of university ski trips. It’s the definition of “work hard play hard.” Work your body hard on the slopes, play nonstop at Aprés. The UBSC trip in 2017 is the biggest trip yet, with 1650 students heading to the Alps for a week of snow and spirits. But there is a darker side to this week of fun and play.

This became all too clear on the Oxbridge Varsity ski trip to the Alps. An Oxford student, Matt Smith died at the Val Thorens resort in the Alps on the first night of the trip. It is understood that the 22-year old history Undergraduate had been taking part in a drinks party at a Varsity event notorious for heavy alcohol consumption. Paramedics were unable to save the young man, who died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest.

(Photo Credit: The Mirror)

Various condolences have flooded in following this tragedy. The Oxford University Ski and Snowboard Club and president Alex Jelicic in particular paid tribute to Mr Smith’s memory. "He has made a lasting impression on all who were lucky enough to know him personally," he said. "He was well known for being a fun-loving, adventurous individual who brought good humour with him at all times. We are proud to have had him serve on our committee, and he will be sorely missed by all members of the club." His brother Harry also wrote a short statement: “"I love you so much, Matt. Rest well above the clouds."

And perhaps this tragedy calls into question university ski trips which claim to promise the best time of any student’s lives. Think about the mechanics: you ski all day, wearing out your body, becoming dehydrated and physically drained. The part where you play hard, drinking, drinking and drinking, makes your body work even harder, and, as Matt Smith’s death shows, pushes it to the limits. For all those students going on the Bristol University ski trip, have fun. Work hard and play hard. But also rest hard, and know your limits.


(Photo Credit: Facebook)