Star skier Sarah Burke seriously hurt in fall


Star skier Burke seriously hurt in fall

Updated Jan 10, 2012 9:07 PM ET

Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was airlifted to a Salt Lake City hospital Tuesday after being seriously injured while training on the superpipe.

The Canadian freestyle team sent a Twitter message Tuesday afternoon saying Burke had a “serious injury.” A spokeswoman at University Hospital in Salt Lake confirmed Burke is there and being evaluated.

“Park City Mountain Resort mountain patrol stabilized her at the scene and then transported her to base patrol,” said Andy Miller, the resort’s communications manager. “From there, she was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City.”

He said the halfpipe was the same one where snowboarder Kevin Pearce was critically injured during training on Dec. 31, 2009. Pearce suffered traumatic brain injuries but has since recovered and returned to riding on snow last month.

Burke’s husband, Rory Bushfield, also put out a message on Twitter seeking someone with a private jet who might help him and Burke’s mother expedite a trip from Vancouver to Salt Lake City.

“Sarah is a very, very strong human and she will be fine,” Bushfield told the Vancouver Sun.

Burke, 29, is a four-time Winter X Games champion in skiing superpipe — a replica of snowboarding’s halfpipe on skis. She lobbied aggressively to have the discipline included in the Olympics and was considered one of the top women’s voices in the action sport’s scene.

With the help of her lobbying, skiing halfpipe will make its debut at the Sochi Games. If healthy, she is expected to contend for a gold medal.

A few weeks before the 2010 Olympics, while she was still struggling to get her sport included, Burke conceded in an interview with The Associated Press that it was frustrating to be on the outside looking in.

“We’re all doing this, first off, because we love it and want to be the best,” Burke said. “But I also think it would’ve been a great opportunity

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