Olympic Hopeful, Freeskier Sarah Burke, Remains in Critical Condition One Day After Superpipe Crash

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 11, 2012 4:37 pm


The beloved freeskier and world champion, Sarah Burke, 29, remains sedated in critical condition after crashing in Park City’s 22-foot superpipe, according to the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. News of the crash was reported yesterday, Tuesday, January 10, after a serious fall left her in the hands of ski patrol, quickly airlifting her from the resort to the local University hospital. 

Burke’s publicist reported that she was transported by AirMed helicopter to University of Utah Hospital from Park City Mountain Resort after sustaining serious injuries during training. She is currently listed in critical condition in the hospital’s Neuro Critical Care Unit. Husband, Rory Bushfield, and the Burke family is by her side in the hospital.

“Sarah sustained serious injuries and remains intubated and sedated in critical condition,” said Safdar Ansari, a neurointensivist with University of Utah Health Care. The statement was released by the Canadian Freestyle organization. Sources on site reported that the Canadian skier did land on her feet in the pipe, but then fell to her side resulting in serious whiplash.

The 22-foot superpipe was home for the 2002 Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe competitions, and the same pipe where professional snowboarder, Kevin Pearce, took a bad fall on December 31, 2009, ending up in a serious brain injury. He recovered, and is finally returning to the slopes this year.

Read Pearce’s amazing recovery story and return to the slopes, here.

It’s unclear whether Burke was wearing a helmet during the fall, however, most competitive athletes are required to compete with head gear in compliance to safety laws.

Sarah Burke may just be the most influential female skier in freestyle history, making sure that her sport was included in the X Games and for the first time ever in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sarah would be competing for gold in both games, and is a 4-time X Games gold medalist. She was also titled “Best Female Action Sports Athlete” in the 2009 ESPY Awards.

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. The Ski Channel is honored to feature Sarah and Rory as stars in our latest film, “Winter”

Sarah’s family has asked that fans and media respect their privacy during this difficult time. Sarah’s friends and fans are encouraged to post their well wishes on Sarah’s Facebook page.

The Ski Channel will be updating on Sarah’s condition as the news unfolds.