Remembering Sarah Burke (1982-2012)
Sarah Burke, 1982-2012
Freeskiing pioneer Sarah Burke died Jan. 19, 2012, nine days after sustaining serious injuries in a halfpipe crash at Park City, Utah. The weeks leading up to the Sochi Olympics marked the two-year anniversary of her death and inspired many skiers on their Olympic quest.
Winter X Games Gold, 2011
"Sarah was an individual who athletically motivated our athletes to be the best they could be, but most importantly, she was a great friend to all," said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
Burke started competing in mogul skiing as a 15-year-old from Midland, Ontario. At 17, she switched to freeskiing and soon was throwing 1080s and winning the U.S. Open of Freeskiing.
During her career, she won four Winter X Games gold medals, an ESPY for best female action sports athlete and an FIS Superpipe world title, and she became the first and only female to land a 1080 in competition.
An Inspiration To All
"Our staff and athletes knew Sarah first as a friend and then as a competitor who constantly inspired them to do greater things," said Jeremy Forster, U.S. Freeskiing program director. "She was a leader in her sport and it's a huge loss."
Sarah Burke married fellow pro skier Rory Bushfield in 2010. "I couldn't be happier," Burke said after her wedding. "I got pretty lucky and married one helluva catch."
Winter X Games Europe, 2011
"Our hearts go out to Sarah's husband Rory and her entire family. Sarah was certainly someone who lived life to the fullest and in doing so was a significant example to our community and far beyond," said Canadian Freestyle CEO Peter Judge.
In The Spotlight
Burke was the best-known athlete in her sport and will be remembered for the legacy she left for women in freeskiing.
Burke with fellow Winter X Games competitors, from left, Jess Reedy, Keri Herman and Anna Segal.