US Skier Kyle Smaine, 31, Dies After Being Thrown, Buried By Avalanche

ASPEN, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Kyle Smaine at the AFP Aspen Snowmass Freeskiing Open at Buttermilk Mountain, CO on February 23, 2014


Professional skier Kyle Smaine has tragically passed away after a skiing accident on Mount Hakuba Norikura in Japan over the weekend.

He was just 31 years old.

Smaine — who won gold at the 2015 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships — was on a trip with photographer Grant Gunderson.

According to Gunderson, while Smaine was on the slope an avalanche was triggered by another skier. The avalanche launched Smaine 50 meters and buried him under the snow.

Rescue crews attempted to save Smaine and another man on the mountain, but they were unsuccessful.

A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said they were “aware of the incident in Nagano Prefecture and has been in touch with the relevant authorities to provide all appropriate assistance.

“Due to privacy considerations, we are not able to comment further.”

Our deepest condolences go out to Smaine’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.

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