U.S. Professional Skier Dies in Avalanche in Japan


New York, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)--A 31-year-old U.S. professional skier died after he was trapped in an avalanche in the central Japan prefecture of Nagano on Sunday, NBC and other media reported Monday.

The death of Kyle Smaine, a professional freestyle skier based in Lake Tahoe, California, was confirmed by his family, according to the media reports.

Smaine won a gold medal in halfpipe at the freestyle ski and snowboarding world championships in 2015.

The avalanche occurred on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura in the village of Otari on Sunday afternoon, hitting a group of foreigners enjoying backcountry skiing.

Smaine is believed to be one of the two men who died in the avalanche.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press