Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke seriously injured in crash
Burke is in critical condition and in a coma, according to the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.
Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM
SNOW CRASH: Sarah Burke after winning the gold medal for Women's Skiing Superpipe at Winter X Games 13 in 2009. (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, a gold medal hopeful for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, suffered a serious head injury after crashing on a ski superpipe training run.
Burke is a four-time ski superpipe champion at the Winter X Games and was preparing to defend her 2010 and 2011 Winter X titles later this month at Aspen, Colorado.
She was among those who successfully fought to have ski superpipe added to the Winter Olympic lineup starting in 2014 at Sochi.
Burke, 29, was taken by helicopter after being hurt in nearby Park City, which hosted several events of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
"No news yet on the condition of Sarah Burke," the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association posted in a message on its Twitter account.
The Toronto Star reported that Burke was in critical condition and in a coma after speaking with Canadian Freestyle Ski Association chief executive Peter Judge.
"We're a bit shell-shocked right now," Judge said. "The signs are dramatic and catastrophic, but it's hard to gauge how dramatic and catastrophic. The same treatment and symptoms can be on a broad scale."
Rory Bushfield, Burke's husband, posted a Twitter message on Tuesday asking if someone with a private jet could fly him and his mother in law from Vancouver to Salt Lake City to be with Burke.
"Sarah is a very, very strong human and she will be fine," Bushfield told The Vancouver Sun.
Park City Mountain Resort spokesman Andy Miller said Burke was stabilized at the scene by a mountain patrol before being taken to a patrol base where she was taken by helicopter to a hospital.
Miller said the halfpipe was the same one upon which snowboarder Kevin Pearce was critically injured in a 2009 training run. After suffering severe brain injuries, Pearce recovered and returned to snowboarding last month.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition