Fallen ski champ Sarah Burke to enter Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
Sarah Burke, 29, died in January after a training accident in Utah.
June 12th, 2012
08:11 PM ET

Fallen ski champ Sarah Burke to enter Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke never did reach the Olympics. But her efforts to get her event into the games before dying in a training accident this year have helped her achieve a high honor from her country’s Olympic committee.

Burke will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in September, the Canadian Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

Burke, a pioneer of freestyle skiing and a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist, was a major force in getting the ski half pipe event added to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, both the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association and the COC have said.

She was considered a medal contender for the event’s 2014 Olympic debut. But she died at age 29 on January 19, days after falling and rupturing a vertebral artery during a training run at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe in Utah.

In a statement released by the COC, Burke’s mother, Jan Phelan, said that “Sarah was one of those extraordinary women who believed that anything was possible.”

“I think that her belief not only helped her succeed, but inspired others to be the best they could be. I know that Sarah would be happy that all she worked for and sought to achieve is being honored with her induction into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame,” Phelan said.

Besides her Winter X Games exploits, the Ontario native and British Columbia resident won gold at the 2005 World Championships in Finland and received ESPN’s best female action sports athlete award in 2007. She also was the first woman to land a 1080-degree spin in competition.

Joining Burke on September’s inductee list are the 2010 Canadian men’s hockey team and the 2006 Canadian women’s hockey team, both of which won gold. The inductees also will include Daniel Igali, a 2000 gold medalist in freestyle wrestling; Beckie Scott, a gold and silver medalist in cross country skiing; Jean-Luc Brassard, a 1994 gold medalist in freestyle skiing; and Julie Sauve, Canada’s longtime synchronized swimming coach.

The induction ceremony will take place September 21 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

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Filed under: Canada • Olympics • Skiing • Sports
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. TH

    Come on folks ... it's the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. It's not like they gave her the Nobel Peace Prize. If the Canadians think her efforts are worthy of being inducted into THEIR Olympic HOF, then let them induct her and move on. If they gave her a posthumous gold medal for an event she never got to compete in, then you'd be valid in criticism. But this? SO not worth your aggravation and negative comments. Lighten up.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Simone

    Your name says it all. Why bother writing if you have nothing intelligent to say. Foolish person.

    Congratulations to Sarah and her family. She will long live in everyone hearts.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • V.P.

      I couldn't have said it better. There's always some low class, no class person or two in the bunch! Congrats to all of the athletes.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. gatecrasher1

    I'd still get in her ski pants.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. michelle

    She was an inspiration – this honor is justified. God bless her family.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. midogs2

    What a tragic loss, Canada. She was a class act, second to none..........................woof

    June 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dogfart

    I don't doubt she was an awesome person and a super athlete, however setting this precedent by inducting her into the Canadian Hall of Fame, anyone that meets that criteria should be inducted as well. Why not right?

    June 13, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Thanks for stating the obvious

      I'm sure the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame is now going to be overun with World Champions who almost single handedly got their niche sport into the Olympics. They also leet in Daniel Igali merely because he's the only Canadian male to win a gold in wrestling as well being the only Canadian wrestler to win the Lou Marsh award.

      Yeah, they sure lowered the bar this year?

      June 13, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • nisroc00

      Regardless of her status, she was given the honour because of her hard work. I would bet the hall of fame would write something about her explaining that she never did compete at the Olympics thus making it an honour for her to be in the hall of fame but not over shadowing those that did compete and excelled at the Olympics.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • nisroc00

      I forgot to add that Nodar Kumaritashvili was also give honour and a place in the Hall of Fame. In case you do not know he was the guy that died on the the Vancouver Luge course, it was his first Olympics and he just doing a training run.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Network

    She played a huge part of getting skiing halfpipe in to the Olympics, she earned her right to have her name in the hall of frame. She pushed to sport of skiing for both women and men. Shred.in.peace Sarah.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. ForGoodOfAll

    So sad and tragic the fate of Sarah Burke, a young, talented athlete whose time was cut way too short. The picture of Sarah above is beautiful. Sarah looks so happy and so full of promise. I wish her family peace.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Olaf Big

    Her death is tragic, but aren't you supposed at least to go to the Olympics to get into the Olympic hall of fame? What if half-pipe will be struck down from the Olympic roster next year (as I think is should be). Is not there some other, more appropriate way to honor her?

    June 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Canadian Man

    Looks like my earlier comment never got posted. To all ignorant comments dissmissing the importance of honoring her and even to the fact that she's Canadian, show some respect. If Lindsay Vaugh would die tomorrow, thousands of people would be mourning and honoring her.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Olaf Big

      Oh, Sarah deserves to be honored by her fellow extreme skiers, and anybody else who feels that what she was doing was worth losing her life over. It's just that inducting her into the Olympic hall of fame is not the right way to do it.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Canadian Man

    I realize I misspelled her name, before anyone point it out, It's Lindsey Vonn. Sorry about that mistake.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Klaas Jan

    But she never competed in the olympics?

    June 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Amy

    Sarah was a wonderful inspirational light not only in freeskiing but in her approach to life. My 4 children had the pleasure of skiing with her during summer glacier camps in Whistler. They are better people for having known her. Her induction to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame is appropriate not solely because she was an amazing person and athlete, but because without her persistence there would be no Ladies Half Pipe In the 2014 Olympics. She facilitated the opportunity to bring the olympic experience to generations. Thank you Sarah for everything! ( the poles, girls week etc.) Strength and love to the family.

    June 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. alumette

    What a beautiful soul with talent and guts to boot. She was too beautiful to grow old.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. web cloud

    hello!,I like your writing so a lot! share we be in contact extra approximately your article on AOL? I require an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that's you! Looking forward to look you.

    August 15, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
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