Injured: Canadian Freeskier Sarah Burke
THURSDAY, JAN 12, 2012: Canadian halfpipe freeskier Sarah Burke sustained severe head injuries in a fall Tuesday in Park City, Utah. On Thursday the skier remained in critical condition in a hospital in Salt Lake City, reportedly after undergoing surgery to repair a tear in her vertebral artery.
Burke, 29, of Midland, ON, is a pioneer in women's freeskiing in North America, winning the 2007 Best Female Action Sports Athlete moniker at the ESPY Awards, and dominating the women's halfpipe scene for nearly a decade. She played a major role in paving the way for superpipe competitions to be part of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, at which she will be a gold medal contender if she is fully recovered.
According to media reports, Burke was training at Park City Mountain Resort when she fell at the bottom of the pipe. She was air lifted to a hospital in Salt Lake.