Canada's skiing community lost one of its own recently. Brayden Kuroda, a member of the Canadian freestyle mogul team, died suddenly. He was only 19 years old and had just made his World Cup debut in January.

According to Freestyle Canada, the young skier "passed away suddenly" on February 17 but the cause of death wasn't disclosed.

"Our hearts are crushed with the immeasurable loss of this effervescent, bright, talented young man," said Peter Judge, Freestyle Canada's CEO, in a statement about Kuroda's passing. "The hearts, thoughts and prayers of our entire community go out to Brayden's teammates, friends and family – most particularly Ken and Berva Kuroda his ever proud mother and father."

On January 25, which was also his birthday, Kuroda competed in his first World Cup tournament at Mont-Tremblant and finished 34th.

Then at the World Cup event in Calgary on February 1, he was the third-highest finishing Canadian on home soil when he placed 25th.

Freestyle Canada described him as a special young man with an infectious smile and passion for skiing that inspired the community.

"His work ethic, passion and natural talent were all contributing to propel him quickly through the Freestyle pathway," the organization said in a statement.

Kuroda had dreams of becoming a surgeon after pursuing his Olympic dreams. 

The young athlete was accepted into the biomedical science honours program at the Univerity of Calgary but deferred so that he could commit fully to skiing.

Kuroda was a National NextGen Mogul Team athlete and wanted to be a good role model to encourage young athletes to achieve their goals.

"His passing will leave an unfillable hole in the heart of our community," said Freestyle Canada.

According to Thomson Reuters via CBC, Kuroda was from Penticton, B.C.

He started off as an Apex Club athlete then moved to B.C.'s provincial team before finally reaching his goal of competing for Canada with the National Mogul Team this season.

Freestyle Canada is providing support services to athletes and staff following Kuroda's death.

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