Sarah Burke Death: The Winter X-Games Will Begin on a Very Somber Note

James EvensCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2012

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - DECEMBER 09:  Sarah Burke of Canada skis to seventh place in the halfpipe finals of the FIS Freestyle World Cup at the VISA US Freeskiing Grand Prix on December 9, 2011 in Copper Mountain, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Freestyle skier Sarah Burke is dead at age 29 following a crash in a practice session in Utah. Burke, who was a freestyle Winter X champion in Women's Superpipe, will always be remembered for being at the top of the sport and living life to the fullest.

The action sports community lost a great soul today and it's truly saddening that on the eve of such a wonderful event, we are reminded how extreme these sports really are.

Even with all of the new safety measures being put in place to protect athletes, it is still dangerous, part of which makes this sport so exciting.

After a great career, and such an exciting, vibrant personality, the Canadian superstar athlete will be missed and thought about daily.

With such a high level of intensity being placed upon these athletes to push the envelope by media and themselves alike, we should all be reminded of the inherent risks that these world-class athletes are taking in order to entertain and push the envelope.

In a article, it was described that Sarah's injuries were related to head trauma and the lack of oxygen getting to the brain.

With the passing of a true legend of this sport, hopefully ESPN is able to figure out a way to remember Burke. 

Athletes are already weighing in on the death of such a loved figure. Travis Pastrana took to Facebook and had this to say:

"It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known such a great person and an inspiring athlete. The mark that she left will be remembered forever. My thoughts and prayers go out to Roury, the rest of Sarah's family and her many friends. We will forever miss you."

He also pointed to a link that would help support her family as they go through these difficult times which can be found here.

Sarah Burke was an example of why life is so precious. She died doing what she loved, but it still brings back to reality what we all watch and love on television, and how real it is for these athletes.