Today’s post is dedicated to Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, a young woman who exemplified everything that is good. She was as outstanding a person as she was an athlete and a tremendous role model for young athletes. Injured in a serious training accident in Utah on January 10th, sadly she succumbed to her injuries today. She will be missed but never forgotten.
Sarah’s ever-present smile, along with her amazing talent and fierce determination to have women’s freestyle skiing accepted as an Olympic sport, is well-known to those who have followed her career. It was exhilarating to watch her ski and compete.
The best-known athlete in her sport, she will be remembered for the legacy she left for women in freestyle skiing. She set the standard for skiing in the superpipe, a sister sport to the more popular snowboarding brand that has turned Shaun White, Hannah Teter and others into stars.
A winner of several Winter X Games gold medals, she also won the 2005 world championships, was the first woman to land a 1080-degree spin (three full rotations) in competition and won the 2007 ESPY award as Best Female Action Sports Athlete. This winter Burke won four gold medals in superpipe at the Winter X Games and an additional gold in the event at the Winter X Games Europe, having swept both competitions.
Her determined lobbying with Olympic officials and fine representation of the sport were major contributing factors for women’s freeskiing (superpipe and slopestyle) acceptance in the Games. She was a gold medal favourite for the sport when it debuts at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Born in Barrie, she grew up in Midland, Ontario, a small community north of Toronto, and has spent the last few years in the Whistler, BC area. In 2010, she married another freestyle skier, Rory Bushfield, and they were headliners in a documentary film project on the Ski Channel called ‘Winter.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2089155/Freestyle-ski-star-Sarah-Burke-dies-injuries-days-half-pipe-crash.html#ixzz1jy46Vnda
‘Sarah, in many ways, defines the sport,’ Peter Judge, the CEO of Canada’s freestyle team, said before her death. ‘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.’
“Sarah was a person who I think in many ways was larger than life and lived life to the fullest. She was a phenomenal representative of her sport and of young people, and of sport in general, and her participation in what she chose to do transcended that sport and went into a larger realm …” said Judge.
She was, Judge said, as committed to the grass roots of the sport – giving clinics to youngsters and working with up-and-coming competitors – as performing at the top levels.
‘She was a great, positive person for the whole team, the whole sport,’ said David Mirota, the Canadian team’s high performance director. ‘She enlightens the room, and she’s great.’
For information on donations: http://www.giveforward.com/sarahburke. “Her accomplishments on skis continue to inspire girls everywhere to believe in themselves and follow their hearts. Her passing is not a cause to pack up our skis, but rather a reason to step-in and ski for Sarah and the dreams that inspired her star to shine.”
Every once in a while someone comes along who makes a big difference in their own special way. Sarah Burke was one. She was 29. Gone too soon.
What a beautiful tribute to a life cut short. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for stopping by. Life …
Louise Graham says
What a tragic tale. Just shows we must make sure we enjoy life as we never know when it will be our time.
Patricia Sands says
Absolutely, Louise. Every day is a gift.
Natalie Hartford says
So sad to have such an incredible woman’s life cut so tragically short. I loved your tribute – so beautiful! The video was exceptional. Her spirit will live on forever…
Patricia Sands says
She was a fine role model for anyone following a dream. To honour her, we must all follow ours.
Tameri Etherton says
Patricia, your post is at once heartrending and heart lifting. I remember Sarah from the Olympics and it’s such a tragedy that she was taken too soon. Such a talented young woman with tenacity that I admired. Your tribute to her is lovely. Her message to young girls needs to continue, than you for the information on her good work. I’ll definitely check out that site.
Patricia Sands says
You are right Tameri, her message needs to live on. She made such an impact I have no doubt it will. Life …
Elisabeth Kinsey says
So sad. Thank you for the post.
Thank you for stopping by.
Oh, so sad, Patricia. I hate to see young people, with so much to give, taken too soon. Thanks for sharing this.
Yes , her legacy will be as a strong advocate for people of all ages to follow their dream.
Elena Aitken says
Patricia, what a beautiful tribute to Sarah.
Such a tragic loss of a powerful, beautiful woman.
Elena, she was such a fine representative for our country and the sport, wasn’t she? She did Canada proud.
Tameri Etherton says
I just read on FB that she was hospitalized in the US and her medical bills are half a million dollars! Of course, we in the US don’t have the super fabulous medical that Canadians have and I’m sure the bills were quite a shock to the family. Do you know if anything is set up to help the family?
Prudence MacLeod says
A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Her loss is a loss to us all.
This makes me so so sad for her husband and family and for all of us such a positive happy young spirit gone so young
So touching to hear her say that they would hopefully die on the mountain
Oh Breda, it is so so sad indeed. She was a close friend to several children of friends of ours who live out in Whistler.
August McLaughlin says
Such a touching tribute, Patricia! I’d heard about her death, but, until this post, knew not a thing about her life. Thanks for this.
She was a fine role model. talented athlete, and a good friend to many.