X Games Medalist Sarah Burke Dies After Skiing Accident (September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012)

Sarah Burke, a Canadian X Games competitive skier passed away on Thursday at 29 years-old after being hospitalized January 10 during a training session in Park City, Utah.

Burke went into cardiac arrest after a failed superpipe trick (a flatspin 540) in which she landed on her head. She was taken by helicopter to Salt Lake City’s University of Utah Hospital where she went into an induced coma.

On the 11th doctors attempted to repair a vertebral artery but Burke did not improve as she had suffered “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest.” She died surrounded by loved ones – her parents, sister and husband, fellow skier Rory Bushfield.

Burke was a four-time gold medalist at the X Games and the first woman to land a 1080-degree rotation in a competition. Sarah, who resided near Whistler in British Columbia, was successful in her petition to add a superpipe event in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

It was easy for the committee to say yes because the “infrastructure was already there” for the snowboarders. “Burkey” as she was known to friends, would been favorited to win the event.

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