On January 19, 2012, the world lost one of the most iconic freestyle female skiers to ever grace a slope or halfpipe – Sarah Burke. A year after her tragic death following a training accident in Utah, the world still remembers her.
Sarah was a multiple X Games and FIS World Cup winner. She was also widely credited with helping to make halfpipe skiing an Olympic sport. The skier was supposed to make her debut in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, where the sport would have been introduced and she would have been strongly favored to win the gold medal. It’s such a shame she did not live to see that her efforts paid off.
Last year, Winsport Canada introduced the Sarah Burke Performance Award to honor her memory and contributions to winter sports. Any Canadian athlete who has a podium at a World Cup event at Canada Olympic Park earns a $5,000 award in Sarah’s memory.
Winsport has extended this award throughout the 2013 season. As such, Canadian mogul skiers competing at the 2013 Freestyle Ski Moguls Grand Prix Presented by Volvo will be eligible to earn this award in her memory.
Peter Judge, Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO, said: “This is a very fitting way to memorialize, recognize and perpetuate the contributions that Sarah made to sport in this country”.
In 2012, four Canadian freestyle athletes earned the Sarah Burke Performance Award at the World Cup in Calgary, Canada.
This is not the only thing that has been done in Sarah’s memory. The day after her unfortunate death, Sarah’s agent established a website to raise $550,000. The money were used to help pay her estimated $200,000 hospitalization costs, but also to raise a foundation “to honor Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied”.
The Sarah Burke Foundation is committed to provide inspiration and support to those in need. It is also the foundation’s mission to preserve Sarah’s goodwill and her actions by supporting and inspiring current and future generations.
“Sarah’s spirit will continue to be apart of our lives through each and everyone of your posts! She’s in every snowflake, every ray of sunshine, every breeze, more than ever, now and always, we #BelieveInSarah”, said Trennon Paynter on the foundation’s website, who is recognized as one of the most experienced halfpipe ski coaches in the world.
What a beautiful way to celebrate Sarah Burke!