Freestyle star Sarah Burke dies

11th January 2012, by Chris Gill

The Eagle pipe, Park City Utah

The Eagle pipe, Park City Utah

Update 20 Jan 2012

Sadly, Sarah Burke died from her injuries on Thursday 19 January. Despite emergency surgery, Sarah’s injury was too severe.

The press announcement said

“Groundbreaking Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke passed away at 9:22 a.m. on 19 January 2012, at the University of Utah Hospital from injuries sustained in an accident on the Eagle Superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort on Tuesday, January 10, 2012. She was training for upcoming winter events.

As the result of Sarah’s fall, she suffered a ruptured vertebral artery, one of the four major arteries supplying blood to the brain.The rupture of this artery led to a severe intracranial hemorrhage, which caused Sarah to go into cardiac arrest on the scene.

After the operation, numerous neurological examinations, electrodiagnostic tests and imaging studies revealed that Sarah sustained severe irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest, resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

Sarah passed away peacefully surrounded by those she loved.”


Canadian half-pipe freestyle skier Sarah Burke is in a coma, following a serious fall at Park City, Utah.

According to the Vancouver media, Burke was training on Park City’s Olympic super-pipe when she landed badly and suffered a head injury.

Athletes at the scene said, “She landed on her feet at the bottom of the pipe and then kind of bounced on to her head.” It didn’t look that bad to spectators, but Burke must have hit a crucial point.

The young athlete was flown to Salt Lake City hospital, where she remains in a critical condition. The severity of her injury is not yet known, but she is in a coma.

Sarah Burke is one of the leading freestyle riders, having competed in the Whistler Games. She fought strongly to get the super-pipe discipline included in the Olympics and had been hopeful of a gold medal in Sochi in 2014. The 29-year-old is also a four-time Winter X Games champion in skiing super-pipe.

The Park City super-pipe is one of the world’s best, having hosted recent FIS Freestyle events and the 2002 Olympic men’s and women’s snowboard competitions. It is a regular venue for the teams to prepare for the gruelling round of season competition.

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