Extreme Sports

Sarah Burke: How Sport Should Honor Legend After Her Death

LA PLAGNE, FRANCE - MARCH 20: (FRANCE OUT) Sarah Burke of Canada takes 1st place during the FIS Freestyle World Cup Men's and Women's Halfpipe on March 20, 2011 in La Plagne, France.  (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterJanuary 19, 2012

The world of freestyle skiing lost a legend on Thursday with the passing of Sarah Burke, who died after sustaining a series of life-threatening injuries while training on the superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.

With all that Burke did to elevate the sport and the Winter X Games at which she starred, it would only be fitting for either, or preferably both, to honor her memory, not to mention her incredible achievements after encountering tragedy while plying her craft.

Burke was the master of the superpipe. A five-time medalist at the X Games in the event, including four golds, Burke also won a gold medal at the 2005 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Kuusamo, Finland.

It would only be fitting for the X Games, if not the World Ski Championships, to dedicate its freestyle superpipe event to Burke. She single-handedly set a new standard of excellence in arguably the most difficult and most dangerous event in competitive skiing.

The Winter Olympics also owe it to Burke to immortalize her for her tremendous achievements and contributions to freestyle skiing. Always the activist, Burke fought for women's right to participate in freestyle skiing and spearheaded the campaign to get her sport on the slate for the Olympics, starting with the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. As such, the IOC, as well as the first pool of participants in the freestyle skiing events at the 2014 Olympics, owe it to Burke to pay their respects to her through some sort of dedication, or a moment of silence, at the very least.

Fans of extreme sports everywhere would do well to keep Burke, a pioneer in the field, and her family in their thoughts.

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