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University of Louisiana-Lafayette champion water-skier dies ‘suddenly’ at 18

Michael Arthur “Micky” Geller was a freshman studying kinesiology and talented water-skier who was ranked 6th in the world as a junior water skier in the U21 jump.
/ Source: NBC News

A champion water skier who studied at a Louisiana university has died “suddenly” at the age of 18, school officials and his water ski team announced. 

Michael Arthur “Micky” Geller, a freshman at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and member of the school’s Ragin’ Cajuns Waterski Team, died Saturday, according to his obituary.

Geller, who was studying kinesiology and hailed from Ontario, Canada, was a renowned athlete who ranked 6th in the world as a junior water skier in the U21 jump, according to the university.

Water Ski Canada said in a statement he died “suddenly” but no cause of death was disclosed. 

“It is with heavy hearts that we share with all of you the news that team member Micky Geller has passed away,” the Ragin’ Cajuns team said on social media. “His love for water skiing was evident in everything he did, from his training and competitions to his interactions with his teammates and coaches.”

The team said Geller will always be remembered “for his amazing work ethic, unending passion, humor, athleticism, and charisma.”

“He loved nothing more than hitting the ramp and flying far but also enjoyed rock climbing, motorcycling, snowmobiling, engaging in deep conversation and debates about current events, and music,” the team said. 

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette flew flags at half-staff in Geller’s memory on Thursday, the same day funeral services were held in Canada.

“His friends and family remain in the thoughts, hearts and prayers of many at the University,” the school said.

In addition to competing for his school, Geller was also part of the Ontario skiing community and represented Water Ski Canada on several occasions including in the U17 International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation World Championships, the Jr. Masters Water Ski Tournament and the 2022 Pan American Championships. 

An obituary for Geller said: “With his full throttle approach to life, Micky experienced more in his 18 years than many ever will.  However, he was just cracking the surface of the possibilities that lay ahead.”

“There are so many people who truly loved Micky simply because he loved so generously. Our boy will be remembered for his empathy, passion, strength, fearlessness, drive, discipline and limitless potential.”

Geller is survived by his parents, sister and grandparents.

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