ESPN has announced that they will hold a special tribute in honor of the late freeskiing champion and pioneer Sarah Burke. The tribute will take place on Thursday night during the Winter X Games 2012 in Aspen, Colorado. There will be a live tribute during the 9pm EST television broadcast as well as an on-site tribute featuring a number of the Winter X Games athletes.
The kickoff to this year’s Winter X Games will be exciting, but also a sobering reminder of the void left by Sarah’s passing. Burke was of course a six-time Winter X Games champion and was slated to defend her gold medal this week in the Women’s Ski SuperPipe finals taking place on Saturday. ”[Sarah] has been such an inspiration to so many including myself,” said Ski Slopestyle competitor Keri Herman. Added Swiss skier Mirjam Jaeger, “[Sarah's] positive attitude, her smiles, her kindness and her extraordinary skiing will be missed, but never forgotten.”
Upon news breaking of Sarah Burke’s passing a fund was set-up to help cover the medical expenses incurred during those final days. Serving as a final ray of light in this otherwise dark time, the fund has raised well over $287,000. Thankfully, this will be more than enough to cover her hospital bills. However, donations are still strongly encouraged — the hospital has yet to release the final cost of Sarah’s treatment and any funds left over are going to go towards post-hospital arrangements such as services and memorial costs and to establish a foundation to honor Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied.