U.S. Freestyle Skier Kyle Smaine Dead at 31 After Avalanche in Japan

U.S. Freestyle Skier Kyle Smaine Dead at 31 After Avalanche in Japan

United States freestyle skier Kyle Smaine had died after being caught in an avalanche.

The 31-year-old athlete was skiing in Nagano Prefecture, in the center of Japan's Honshu island, when he was killed after the avalanche unfolded, his father William Smaine confirmed to NBC News on Jan. 29.

At least five men, all foreign nationals from the U.S. and Austria, had been caught in the avalanche, a Nagano police spokesperson said, according to Reuters. Three of the skiers were able to climb down the mountain on their own following the avalanche. Unfortunately, Kyle and another skier, who has yet to be identified, were found with no vital signs.

Just hours before the incident, Kyle shared a video of himself skiing while listening to Lizzo's "Good as Hell."

"This is what brings me back to Japan each winter," he wrote Jan. 29. "Unbelievable snow quality, non-stop storms, and really fun terrain that seems to get better than more exploring you do."

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Soon after Kyle's passing, his wife Jenna Dramise, who married the athlete less than three months ago, shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram where she reflected on their journey together.

Kyle Smaine
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

"I'm so incredibly thankful that I got to marry you and have you in my life," she wrote. "You loved skiing more than anyone I've ever met. I picked you up hitchhiking in New Zealand 2010 and who would have thought we would be married 13 years later. The best damn years of my life."

Jenna 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."

Many Olympic skiers and snowboarders offered their support to Jenna in the comment section, including Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson and Elena Hight.

"Thank you for sharing Kyle with us," Olympic skier Brita Sigourney wrote. "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."

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