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Kyle Smaine: Avalanche kills ex


Two skiers were killed in an avalanche accident in Japan on Sunday. One of them is the American Kyle Smaine, who became world halfpipe champion in 2015. His companion survived under the masses of snow.

Enlarge image

Kyle Smaine at a competition in 2016


Sandra A Mailer / Shutterstock / IMAGO

The American freestyle skier Kyle Smaine is dead. The 2015 world halfpipe champion was buried by an avalanche in the Japanese prefecture of Nagano on Sunday.

According to information from the winter sports blog "Mountain Gazette", a second skier from Austria died in the accident, but this information has not yet been confirmed.

The accident happened in the unsecured area of ​​the ski resort at Mount Hakuba Norikura.

The 32-year-old Smaine was there for several days for advertising shots.

On Sunday, however, he drove without a camera accompaniment.

Among those on the mountain was the photographer Grant Gunderson, who describes the course of the disaster in an Instagram statement.

According to Gunderson, Smaine and his companion, American freestyle skier Adam Ü, set off again at the end of the day, while Gunderson himself did not go up the mountain.

On the descent, they encountered a group of other skiers, one of whom probably triggered the avalanche.

It had snowed heavily the day before

Smaine and two other skiers tried to flee, but had no chance.

While Smaine and another freerider died under the masses of snow, Adam Ü could be rescued, although he was buried at a depth of one and a half meters for around 25 minutes.

'We heard the bang.

We started running and then we got hit," Ü told the Mountain Gazette.

According to the Reuters news agency, there was an avalanche warning from the weather service at the time of the accident after it had snowed heavily the previous few days.

Smaine started competing in professional skiing in 2008.

In 2015 he became world champion in the halfpipe at Kreischberg in Austria.

He also won a World Cup.

Most recently, Smaine was mainly on the road as a freeskier, worked on film projects and was an advertising medium for several brands.

On Saturday, Smaine released a video of himself skiing in deep snow in Japan.

Smaine's death caused consternation at the scene.

Many former companions expressed their condolences on social media.


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-01-30

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