With the 2014 Olympics in Sochi nearing Sarah Burke’s dream’s are about to be reality, unfortunately she will never see them come to fruition.  Burke was the victim of a tragic training accident in Utah in January 2012 that led to her passing in hospital nine days after the initial crash.  The event Burke was taking part in was not sanctioned therefore her insurance policy through the  Canada Freestyle Ski Association didn’t cover medical expenses, this led to a huge outpouring of generosity from the public raising over half a million dollars to cover the costs incurred during her hospital stay.


A native of Barrie Ontario, Burke grew up in Midland and later called Squamish British Columbia home.  Burke was a highly decorated freestyle skier acquiring four X-Game gold medals and a world half-pipe championship. Burke also won first place in the 2001 US Freeskiing Open in the half-pipe event and finished second in slopestyle.  She was the first woman ever to land a jump with 1080-degree rotation in competition.  Prior to her death Burke was a favourite to medal going into Sochi in 2014.

Burke was a pioneer in the superpipe event and along with American Kristi Leskinen, she helped mold the event into what it is today.   She was part of a group who successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee (the Olympic’s governing body) for the events inclusion. There was a strong push to have the event included in the 2010 games in Vancouver but the bidding fell just short.  The 2014 Olympics will be the  inaugural year for the superpipe.


Sarah Burke’s story is one of pure tragedy, her death while much to early has helped bring Canadians closer as a community.  Olympians are once every four years the pride of a country, Burke’s story has helped reinvigorate Canadians passion for sports and life at a time when the games are nowhere in sight.


Awesome is a word not taken lightly when considering candidates for this series, and while the emotional side of this story is great there is more to it.  Years of representing Canada on the international stage is pretty Awesome.  As a teenager she pretty much invented a new sport, pretty Awesome.  Sarah Burke played a huge role in getting the sport she loved into the Olympics, pretty awesome.   Sarah Burke was, and her memory is, pretty Awesome.





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