CAUSE OF DEATH: US world champion skier, Kyle Smaine, confirmed dead in avalanche in Japan KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

CAUSE OF DEATH: US world champion skier, Kyle Smaine, confirmed dead in avalanche in Japan

Kyle Smaine, a skier based in Lake Tahoe, California, had traveled to Japan for the "unbelievable snow quality," he recently said on Instagram.

Smaine was skiing in Nagano Prefecture, in the center of Japan’s Honshu island, when he died after the avalanche, his father, William Smaine, confirmed.

At least five men, all foreign nationals from the U.S. and Austria, were caught in the avalanche on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura, a Nagano police spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

Police had said the five men were skiing in two separate groups on the roughly 8,100-foot-high mountain. Three were able to climb down on their own Sunday after the avalanche, but Smaine and another skier, who has yet to be identified, were left behind. Both men were later found with no vital signs, Reuters reported.

Weather authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the area after days of heavy snowfall as Japan grappled with widespread disruption caused by heavy snow and record-cold temperatures, with authorities also investigating whether the severe weather was behind a number of deaths.

Dramise wrote that she knew her husband had the best runs of his life when he was in Japan, “and could never blame you for doing what you loved.”

“I do wish I could tell you that one secret I always had, that I loved you. It never really was a secret because I said it at least 10 times a day to you,” she continued. “I can’t wait to see you again. Tonight I hope to ride some pow or bikes with you in my dreams. Love your Wife.”

On Jan. 30, the professional skier’s father, William Smaine, confirmed his son’s death to NBC News. The 31-year-old was one of five foreign skiers who were caught in the avalanche on Mount Hakuba Norikura in Nagano Prefecture, Reuters reported.

Just a day before his fatal accident, Kyle Smaine shared video on Instagram of his skiing in Japan.

Dramise received a slew of supportive and loving messages from friends and athletes on her Jan. 30 post, including pro snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who wrote, “Sending you nothing but love at this time Jenna.”

Free skier and Olympian Brita Sigourney added, “Thank you for sharing Kyle with us. I’ve had some of my favorite ski trips and memories thanks to him. The most positive person and best ski buddy I’ve ever known. I watched him ski an entire week of chamonix pow on pipe skis and never heard a single complaint, only stoke. So much love to you, Jenna.”

“Your love will live on,” commented snowboarder Elena Hight.

Olympic halfpipe skier David Wise also added, “I’m hoping to crush some pow or MTB rhythm sections with him in my dreams tonight too. I’m so glad we had the time we had with him.”

Kyle Smaine, a California native, won a gold medal in halfpipe at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships 2015.

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