Sam Coffey, a popular and well-known skier from Aspen, Colorado, died on Monday at the age of 29.
Coffey’s longtime friend, the 2018 Olympian and World Cup ski racer Wiley Maple, told Aspen Times that Coffey passed away after suffering a stroke while vacationing in Mexico.
Maple, who had been with Coffey in Mexico a few days before he died, said that he went into and out of a coma for a few days and suffered more strokes before he eventually died.
Maple had left Coffey in Mexico and returned to school before Coffey was hospitalized.
“We were having a blast surfing and just living that slow, Mexican life,” Maple said.
“From what I understand he just woke up one morning not feeling well — took a nap then started his stretching warm-up for a surf session and collapsed,” Maple added. “They rushed him to the hospital and thought the worst was over.”
Maple took to Instagram on Monday where he posted several video clips as a tribute to Coffey. Tributes
“We are incredibly saddened to hear our friend, Sam Coffey, has passed away,” the World Pro Ski Tour said in an Instagram message. “Sam’s indomitable spirit, and world class skiing will live on forever. Sending our deepest condolences to family and friends.”
Coffey grew up in Snowmass, Colorado, and graduated from Aspen High School in 2008. He was a member of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. He continued to be active in the sport at the University of New Hampshire.
He co-founded the ski gang known as The Freaks with friends, including Maple and Baker Boyd. Baker Boyd was with Coffey on the morning he collapsed and was taken to the hospital.