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Sarah Burke Dies

January 19, 2012 by staff 

Sarah Burke DiesSarah Burke Dies, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke died Thursday, nine days after crashing at the bottom of the superpipe during a training run in Utah.

Burke, who lived near Whistler in British Columbia, was 29. She was injured Jan. 10 while training at a personal sponsor event at the Park City Mountain resort.

Tests revealed Burke sustained “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest,” according to a statement released by Burke’s publicist on behalf of her family.

A four-time Winter X Games champion, Burke crashed on the same halfpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury during a training accident on Dec. 31, 2009.

As a result of her fall, Burke tore her vertebral artery, which led to severe bleeding on the brain, causing her to go into cardiac arrest on the scene, where CPR was performed, according to the statement by publicist Nicole Wool.

Wool said Burke’s organs and tissues were donated per her wishes.

“The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched,” the statement said.

Burke was the best-known athlete in her sport and will be remembered for the legacy she left for women in freestyle skiing.

She set the standard for skiing in the superpipe, a sister sport to the more popular snowboarding brand that has turned Shaun White, Hannah Teter and others into stars.

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