Canadian freeskier Sarah Burke is in a coma after suffering a serious head injury in Park City, Utah earlier today.
Sarah was training in the Eagle Superpipe with her fellow teammates when she crashed after an aerial maneuver. Witnesses at the scene reported that she landed at the bottom of the pipe flat, only to bounce to her side suffering from whiplash that lead to to a head injury. Several eyewitnesses have described the crash and subsequent impact as not particularly violent. However, the fall left the skier incapacitated. Park City mountain patrollers were immediately on the scene to stabilize Burke before rushing her to base patrol where she was airlifted to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Burke’s mother and husband, Rory Bushfield, are reported to be en route from Canada. Shortly after the news broke, Rory took to Twitter to track down a flight that would get them by Sarah’s side the fastest.
Sarah is known throughout the sporting community for her determination and fortitude. She is one of women’s freeskiing’s most vocal advocates. Between her lobbying for female inclusion in major competitions and unmatched talent on a pair of skis, Sarah is one of the most dedicated members of the freestyle movemet and a driving force in its evolution. Those that know her best are confident she will apply this same strength to make a full recovery.
This is a very sad day for The Ski Channel news room, as skiers worldwide wait in a state of shock. Sarah’s talent inspires athletes and fans all over the world, and professional skiers only have to best to say about this beautiful woman. The crash reminds us of the dangers of the sport, as the best of the best reach new heights and evermore serious results from a fall. We sincerely hope for the best of outcomes.
The Ski Channel will be updating on Sarah’s condition as news unfolds.