Sarah Burke Dies at Age 29 From Fatal Skiing Accident

Freestyle skiing great, Sarah Burke, died Thursday, Jan 19, from injuries sustained during a recent skiing accident in Park City, Utah. A 4-time X Games gold medalist, the 29-year old Burke died doing what she loved to do. Canadian freestyle skier, Sarah Burke: September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012.

The accident occurred at the Park City Mountain Resort Eagle superpipe in Park City, Utah on January 10 during a training session. She immediately went into cardiac arrest due to a severed artery, but was resuscitated and airlifted to the University of Utah Hospital where she underwent surgery to repair a tear in her vetebral artery.

Her publicist’ told the media that Burke’s injuries had resulted in “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest.” She was put on life support, but sadly passed away Thursday surrounded by her family. Her organs and tissues were donated as she requested before her death.

ABC Reports:

Peter Judge, the CEO of Canada’s freestyle team said “Sarah was the one who, in a very positive way, stood in the face of adversity and asked, `Why not? What she would have wanted was for her teammates and others in her sport to stand up and also say, Why not? To benefit from the significant opportunities available to them, being able to compete in the Olympics and the X Games. Those were the things she wanted and cherished and fought for.”

Judge said the accident occurred from a simple 540-degree jump that Burke usually landed routinely.

“It was more the freak nature of how she landed,” Judge said. “The angle of how she hit must have been exactly the right way, to create a very bizarre circumstance.”

Burke won ESPN’s 2001 Award for female skier of the year and was voted 2007’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete at the ESPY awards. She regularly participated in skiing films, including Propaganda, in which she showcased her skills by sliding huge rainbow rails, spinning a huge 540 in the pipe and throwing back-flips with ease.

Burke successfully lobbied International Olympic Committee to have the superpipe skiing event added for the 2014 Sochi Games. Two years ahead of the games, she was considered a potential favorite for the gold medal in Sochi

Burke is survived by her husband, fellow freestyle skier Rory Bushfield, whom she married on September 25, 2010 in Pemberton, British Columbia

Posted by PFP Sports and Celebrity Talent Agency.