Canadian skier Sarah Burke dies of injuries
Famous freestyle skier's death was caused by injuries she sustained in an accident earlier in the month that left her with reduced blood flow to the brain.
Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
DEAD AT 29: Sarah Burke after winning the gold medal for Women's Skiing Superpipe at Winter X Games 13 in 2009. (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Freestyle skier Sarah Burke died on the morning of Jan. 19 from injuries sustained in a superpipe training accident suffered Jan. 10, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association said.
University of Utah Medical Center officials confirmed that Burke died at 9:22 a.m. in the presence of her family following a fall on a training superpipe at nearby Park City. She was 29.
Doctors said she suffered a ruptured vertebral artery that reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to severe bleeding. She remained in a coma and on life support from the time she reached the Salt Lake City hospital.
Doctors discovered Burke had suffered irreversible brain damage after going into cardiac arrest.
Burke, a four-time Winter X Games champion, has been instrumental in raising the profile of freestyle halfpipe and was an enthusiastic and influential supporter of its inclusion in the Olympics staring in 2014. Superpipe is a sister sport to the more well-known sport of snowboarding that has created stars like Shaun White.
She would have been among the medal favorites in Sochi for the women's superpipe debut.
The Park City course where Burke was injured was the same one where snowboarder Kevin Pearce was critically injured in a 2009 training run.
Pearce recovered and returned to snowboarding last month.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition