Kyle Smaine, who won gold at the 2015 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships, died in a terrible ski accident, according to his family.
He was 31.
Smaine was skiing in Japan… He liked going there this time of year because of the “unbelievable snow quality,” which he mentioned on social media before the accident.
Smaine was with photographer Grant Gunderson on the trip, who described the terrifying events in an emotional Instagram post, calling it his “absolute worst nightmare scenario.”
Grant claims he was tired and decided to descend the mountain to rest. Kyle, on the other hand, wanted to keep skiing. According to Gunderson, things went from bad to worse when another skier triggered a large avalanche that threw Smaine 50 meters and buried him, killing the 31-year-old.
Gunderson claims that rescuers — “two mountain guides and four or five emergency doctors” — did everything they could to save Smaine and another man who has yet to be identified, but there was nothing they could do.