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Former world halfpipe champion Smaine killed in avalanche in Japan

Tokyo, Jan 31 (IANS) Former world halfpipe champion Kyle Smaine of the United States has died in an avalanche in the backcountry of Japan’s Nagano prefecture.

“Today we lost an incredible person, friend, skier and teammate to the mountains,” the US freeski team announced on social media.

“Kyle Smaine was a world champion freeskier, loved exploring the mountains, was a fierce competitor but an even better person and friend.”

Local police said that the 31-year-old, who won freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medal at the 2015 world championships, was one of two men found dead in the avalanche, reports Xinhua news agency.



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