The close- knit community of local skiers are mourning the loss a talented teenager. Michael Lillis, an Olympic Hopeful from East Rochester died in his sleep this Friday night. Lillis was a freestyle aerialist with a promising career ahead of him.
Skiing connected the three Lillis brothers. They produced home videos and even created a hashtag — LILLIS 3.0.
Guy Smith’s son skied with the brothers. He was shocked to hear the news.
“I saw a post on Facebook from his brother Jon about how he and Chris loved Mikey. I thought it was strange,” Smith said.
Smith tells News 8, he would soon learn that Mikey died in his sleep at home.
Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn knew Mikey well because his son is also a member of the US Olympic Ski Team. He called Mikey a a picture of health. He tells News 8, Mikey was on break between pre-season training camps when he received the call.
“Some medical issue apparently happened. He was out with his father the night before. They went over and got chicken wings, were watching the game, went to bed and just never woke up,” O’Flynn said.
Mikey was the youngest of three and Smith tells News 8 he was destined to follow in his brothers’ footsteps.
“I saw progression. Everyone saw progression. Most likely he would be on the U.S. Ski Team,” Smith said.
And for anyone who knew Mikey and his family their second love was baseball and cheering on the New York Yankees.
His family continues to wait for an autopsy to determine the death of Mikey. There are no memorial details at this time.