A U.S. freestyle skier has died after being caught in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, his family confirmed.
Kyle Smaine, a skier based in Lake Tahoe, California, had traveled to Japan for the "unbelievable snow quality," according to a recent post on his Instagram account.
"This is what brings me back to Japan each winter," wrote Smaine, who won a gold medal in halfpipe at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships 2015, as he shared a video of him skiing.
Smaine was skiing in Nagano Prefecture, in the center of Japan’s Honshu island, when he died after the avalanche unfolded, his father, William Smaine, confirmed to NBC News.
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