Thursday, January 19, 2012

BREAKING: Sarah Burke Dies From Injuries

Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke has died from injuries sustained in the superpipe accident at the Park City, Utah resort she was practicing in last week.

Burke had been in a medically-induced coma and in critical condition since hitting her head in a fall at the superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort on January 10th.

Here's Burke winning the XGames-15 skiing event in the superpipe...
((HT: ESPN/XGames))

More when we know more...

1600 UPDATE: Amy Donaldson of the Deseret News has the following statement from the Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association...

"What defines Sarah now is what has always defined her," said Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge. "She was always very gregarious, very outgoing and popular with those around her. She is very giving in terms of her time, especially in the sport."

Burke's family released the following statement regarding her passing at 9:22AM local time:

"The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched."

Hospital officials at the University of Utah hospital say Burke sustained severe irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after falling into cardiac arrest on site in Park City before she was taken to hospital. As a result, doctors say Burke passed away "peacefully surrounded by those she loved."

The hospital also said that Burke's organs and tissues were donated to "save the lives of others."

For more information on making donations on behalf of Sarah Burke, the family is asking everyone go to

The family will not be making any future public statements...

1700 UPDATE:
Judge told FOSG and Sportsnet Big Hoo-Hah Glen MacDonald, through Glenny-Mac's Twitter Feed:

told me Sarah would've won gold in 4 different Olympics if her sport was given opportunity. She was that good.

Burke was instrumental in getting women's skiing events entered in the Winter Four-Ringed Circus. She was trying to get freestyle in her home country events in Vancouver, but it will be included in the Sochi Games in 2014.

To say she was a pioneer and a trailblazer isn't using hyperbole, and her impact and vision in the sport will be missed immeasurably...

Here's early coverage from our friends at CTV...
((HT: CanadianHQTV))

1715 UPDATE: More from Glen MacDonald...

Sarah Burke was injured practicing a Flatspin 5 - a move she has done many times before. Peter Judge called it a "freak accident"

1725 UPDATE: Courtesy of our friends at GlobalToronto, here is part of the text of the statement released from Burke's family through Burke's publicist, Nicole Wool...

It details the nature of the accident and how Sarah Burke was injured...

As the result of Sarah's fall, she suffered a ruptured vertebral artery, one of the four major arteries supplying blood to the brain. The rupture of this artery led to a severe intracranial hemorrhage, which caused Sarah to go into cardiac arrest on the scene. Emergency personnel responded and CPR was administered on the scene during which time she remained without a pulse or spontaneous breathing. Studies in the University of Utah Hospital Emergency Department indicated that she retained brainstem function. She was placed on life support and a protocol of therapeutic hypothermia was initiated to protect her brain. An angiogram indicated the site of arterial bleeding, and on Wednesday, January 11 the injured artery was successfully repaired.

After the operation, numerous neurological examinations, electrodiagnostic tests and imaging studies revealed that Sarah sustained severe irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest, resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Sarah passed away peacefully surrounded by those she loved. In accordance with Sarah's wishes, her organs and tissues were donated to save the lives of others.

While early reports in the media stated that Sarah's injury was a traumatic brain injury, it is important to note that Sarah's condition was the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain during cardiac arrest.

2030 UPDATE:
Here's early coverage from ABC4 in Salt Lake City

1 comment:

  1. May Sarah Rest in Peace, She surely was a pioneer in her field. We will surely rememebr her many performances in Freestyle Ski performances.