Freestyle skier Sarah Burke from Canada has died from injuries sustained in a training accident. Burke, 29, helped bring freestyle skiing events to the Winter Olympics, and was considered a gold medal contender for the 2014 Games.
She was injured in a superpipe accident at Park City in the US state of Utah on 11 January. Tests showed the freestyle skier had sustained “irreversible damage to her brain”, a family spokeswoman said. The four-time Winter X Games champion crashed on the same superpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury during a training accident in late 2009. The best-known athlete in her sport, Burke specialised in skiing the superpipe in this sport – a version of a traditional halfpipe with walls over 5m (16ft) high.
A native of Midland, Ontario, Burke won was named female action sports athlete of the year by TV network ESPN in 2007. Burke tore her vertebral artery as a result of the fall, which led to severe bleeding on the brain. That caused her to go into cardiac arrest on the scene, where CPR was performed.
“The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched,” Nicole Wool, her spokeswoman said. Burke’s organs and tissues were donated as per her wishes.
Source: BBC News