Team Pays Tribute to Mikey Lillis

Tom Kelly
2017-10-21 17:00

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is paying tribute to up-and-coming freestyle aerialist Michael Lillis Saturday after the 17-year-old died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester.

Lillis, a rising star in U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Elite Aerial Development Program based out of the Olympic village of Lake Placid, was found unresponsive by his parents Saturday morning. He was on a break between pre-season training camps.

Lillis, known to his friends as Mikey, is the youngest of three brothers who have been making a name for themselves in the sport over the past few years. His older brother Jon, 23, is the reigning world champion. Brother Chris, 19, won his first World Cup in Minsk, Belarus a year ago. The two older brothers were at the team's pre-season aerials camp in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. They are returning to New York to be with their family.

"We are a family and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates," said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "We'll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family."

Mikey, who originally came out of the Bristol Mountain Ski Club in western New York state, was making his move upward on the NorAm tour, with three podiums in the last few seasons. He and his teammates were taking a one week break before heading back to Lake Placid on Sunday.

Brother Jon was one of the charter members of U.S. Ski & Snowboard's EADP program, designed to create an immersive experience for athletes with athletic training and school. Chris also began his career with EADP, quickly working his way to a successful career on the World Cup tour.

A planned EADP and C Team training camp in Lake Placid will be adjusted, with most athletes staying home. Coaches in Saas-Fee are also taking a break from training to allow athletes time to grieve.

Services will be held Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to consider donations to the Bristol Freestyle Fund.

Friday, Oct. 27
Visitation - 3:00-7:00 p.m. EDT

Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home (Egypt location)
7501 Pittsford Palmyra Road
Fairport, NY

Saturday, Oct. 28
Funeral Mass - 10:00 a.m. EDT

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
15 St. Mary’s Place
Rochester, NY



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