Former Olympic skier Bode Miller has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his youngest child after she died in a tragic accident.
Emmy, who was 19-months-old, reportedly drowned in a Southern California swimming pool.
His wife, Morgan, a professional beach volleyball player, was at a neighbour’s on Saturday night (June 9) when the incident happened, according to reports.
Emmy was found in the pool by Mrs Miller, who jumped in and tried to resuscitate her, local authorities told ABC.
Paramedics took Emmy to hospital but could not save her.
Paying tribute to his daughter, Miller wrote:
We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this.
Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time.
We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office (OCFA) said they responded to a call on Saturday (June 9) at approximately 6:30pm.
Mrs Miller and the child were at a neighbour’s house when the 19-month-old got away, so they went looking for her, OCFA said.
The coroner’s office also confirmed Mrs Miller had found the baby in the pool, and jumped in. She and others had tried to resuscitate Emmy while 911 was called, according to OCFA.
The paramedics arrived and the child was transported to Mission Hospital in ‘grave condition’, OCFA added.
40-year-old Miller is the most decorated male US skier.
He has 33 World Cup wins, four world championships and six Olympic medals – including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games in the super-combined – and, at the 2014 Sochi games, he was the oldest alpine skier (age 36) to win a medal.
Miller’s younger brother Chelone, known as Chilly, was a snowboarder who competed in the 2010 Winter X Games in the Snowboard X event.
Chelone suffered a traumatic brain injury in a dirt bike crash in 2005 after which suffered from seizures, and tragically died in 2013 at the age of 29.
Bode said his brother had ‘loved life so much’, adding:
It made him easy to love and easy to be around. I’m going to miss him a lot.
Pro snowboarder Trevor Jacob, and a friend of Chelone, posted a tribute on his Facebook page which read:
To my friend, brother, and idol. The gnarliest snowboarder is truly an understatement. I could never wrap my head around how truly gnarly you are.
Charging first descents truly no one else is skilled or crazy enough to do. Things, no one, in the history of time will probably ever do again, YOU DID IT.
According to ABC, at the time, US Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO, Bill Marolt, said:
Chelone Miller was an aspiring elite athlete who had made great progress as a snowboardcross rider this past season.
We are all deeply saddened at the news of his death and extend our condolences to the entire Miller family.
Our thoughts are with the Miller family at this difficult time.