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article imageCanadian skier Sarah Burke dies from skiing accident

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Jan 20, 2012 in Sports
Sarah Burke, a freestyle skier from Canada, is dead at the age of 29. She was critically injured during practice at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah on January 10. She was 29.
Burke was considered a pioneer in freestyle skiing and was instrumental in getting the ski halfpipe event added to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.
Burke was 11th in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals overall ranking last year. She has won four gold metals in the Winter X Games, she won gold at the 2005 world championships in Finland in 2007 and ESPN’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete award in 2007.
Burke was injured on the same halfpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce crashed during a training training on December 31, 2009 and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
When Burke sustained her fatal injury she was nearing the end of her training run inside a 22-foot halfpipe when she awkwardly flipped over and hit her head on the ground. She lost her pulse and stopped breathing.
Members of Park City Mountain Resort"s mountain patrol took Burke off the mountain and she was airlifted to University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. reports Burke’s publicist, Nicole Wool, said on behalf of her family the cause of Burke’s death was hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a condition that occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen.
Before her death Peter Judge, the CEO of Canada's freestyle team said, "Sarah, in many ways, defines the sport. She's been involved since the very, very early days as one of the first people to bring skis into the pipe. She's also been very dedicated in trying to define her sport but not define herself by winning. For her, it's been about making herself the best she can be rather than comparing herself to other people." reports USA Today.
Burke is survived by her husband Roy, parents Jan and Gordon and sister Anna. reports a website has been set up to help with the Burkes medical costs and related expenses. Their medical expenses are estimated to be $550,000.
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