More tests planned on injured ski champ Sarah Burke
Skier Sarah Burke arrives at The 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles in July.
January 16th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

More tests planned on injured ski champ Sarah Burke

The family of freestyle ski champ Sarah Burke canceled a planned news conference Monday as they await the results of further tests on the injured athlete, an official for the University of Utah hospital said.

Burke was critically injured during practice in Utah last week.  She had successful surgery Wednesday to repair a vertebral artery tear, which had caused bleeding in her skull, the hospital said.

On Friday, the hospital said there would be a press conference concerning Burke on Monday. But Monday morning that was canceled.

"Late last night, Rory Bushfield, Sarah's husband, and members of her family met with physicians to discuss the results of Sarah's most recent neurological tests and assessments. Based on the information they received, we regret to inform you that they have decided to cancel today's press conference in order for further tests to be conducted this morning and in the coming days," according to an e-mail from hospital spokeswoman Nicole Wool.

Last Friday, the hospital said Burke was in critical condition after the surgery.

"With traumatic brain injury, our care is focused on addressing the primary injury and preventing secondary brain damage, as well as managing other injuries sustained at the time of the accident; all of which requires close monitoring and intensive care. At this moment, Sarah needs more time before any prognosis can be determined," said a statement from neurointensivist Safdar Ansari, who is coordinator of the team caring for Burke.

Burke reportedly fell while trying a trick and "whiplashed" onto her side at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe on Tuesday, officials have said. Resort spokesman Andy Miller said Burke was treated at the scene before being flown by helicopter to the hospital.

The skier's family remained with her, the hospital said Monday.

"The family wants to express their deep appreciation for the overwhelming support Sarah has received from all over the world. They ask that everyone continue to keep Sarah and Rory in their prayers," the hospital said.

Further updates would be posted on Burke's website, the hospital said.

Burke, a native of Ontario who now lives in British Columbia, was 11th in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals overall rankings last year. She has won four gold medals in the Winter X Games, the event she was training for at the time of Tuesday's accident. She also won gold at the 2005 world championships in Finland and in 2007 received ESPN’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete award.

Burke is considered a pioneer of freestyle skiing and was a major force in getting the ski halfpipe event added to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, said last week.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Sadly, I doubt the news is good. I know people who suffered serious brain injuries. The younger, the better the odds of recovery, but I think her situation is very grim.

    January 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne Alsaif

      it all depends on the hand you are dealt. in june, 2010, i was 48 yrs. old at the time, i was hit by a car while on the back of a motorcycle with no helmut. Every bone in my skull was fractured, some in layers. i had a crainiotomy and they literally 'glued' my skull in places. I suffered what is termed "medium tramatic brain injury". I also suffered multiple leg fractures and an obliterated ankle. And though i have serious daily issues in dealing with my tbi.....i live at home and am here for my children. Godspeed Sarah Burke and follow the sparks in the darkness.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tcr c2

    I recently began talking face to face with the us womens /mens track racing team. And they are awesome people to communicate with hope to someday to meet sarah and her husband these proffessionalsare such awesome people its amazing. I do wish her a full recovery

    January 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sherry

    The X-games course is designed for TV, not for the athlete. I don't think it shows the athlete at their best either. The jumps on the slopestyle course are too big and too close together. The athlete barely has time to recover from one jump when they are already on the next. At least they wear helmets...

    I spent about 30 minutes with Sarah about 8 years ago at the X-games. Even though I'm over 50, I found her to be warm and genuine. What a beautiful person, inside and out. I can't stop checking her name for more information.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pat

    Organ transplant criminals are waiting in the anteroom to cut her in pieces.
    If dead, NO ORGAN HARVESTING! If they rip her apart to organs this would be EVIL!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. WhistlerBlack

    My Daughter got to spend time with Sarah and several of her contemporaries for Girls Week at Momentum ski camp last July. Meeting, and even skiing with Sarah has been one the highlights of my daughter's first 14 years. It was heartbreaking to hear of her terrible accident. Sarah has inspired so many young ladies in skiing – a true ambassador for the sport and a simply good person. We are praying for her, for Rory for and their family.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Goobie

    It is a very dangerous sport no matter how good you are bad things can happen. Remember Liam Nielsons wife, she died on a bunny slope. I hope you regret your mean and nasty post being that she has now past you heartless idiot.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    I hope, for your sake, that you're only trolling.
    Because, if you're not, you just proved that your mind is extremely shallow.
    For your information, Sarah Burke passed away Thursday morning.
    Do you have some "funny" comment about that, too?

    January 20, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. tcaros

    I guess she won't be trying that trick again.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. tcaros

    I agree. There are dangers and some people don't take it seriously. According to the story she was doing a trick.
    Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy died downhill skiing.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. tcaros

    At least she died doing what she liked. I heard she was an okay skier.. .not really that great.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |

    Simply terrible news:(((

    January 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
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