Skier Sarah Burke Honored at 2014 Sochi Olympics with Heart-Shaped Tribute

Skier Sarah Burke Honored at 2014 Sochi Olympics with Heart-Shaped Tribute
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Sarah Burke is gone, but she is not forgotten.

The Canadian freeskier is viewed as the pioneer of the halfpipe event. She won four gold medals in superpipe at the Winter X Games, and she added a gold medal in the halfpipe at a freestyle World Championship event.

On Jan. 19, 2012, Burke passed at the age of 29—a little more than a week after having an accident in practice. She may not be present at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but she was certainly in everyone's thoughts. 

Nearly two dozen workers gave a heart-shaped tribute to Burke at the halfpipe final:

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Burke's mother, Jan Phelan, was in attendance at the women’s ski halfpipe competition.

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. ET

Canadian ski halfpipe coach Trennon Paynter spread Burke's ashes in Sochi, according to Sportsnet.ca:

The ashes of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke were spread in the Olympic halfpipe, high on a mountain above it and also near the Olympic rings in the athletes’ village.

Burke, considered a pioneer for the introduction of halfpipe and slopestyle into the Winter Games, died following a training accident in Utah in January, 2012.

Freestyle coach Trennon Paynter from Squamish, B.C., says he distributed the ashes in the halfpipe prior to the competition.

"That was a little bit of a stealth mission," Paynter said Saturday. "I feel pretty good about knowing Sarah was all over these Olympics in our hearts and quite literally too."

--End of Update--

It was quite the moment at the Sochi Games.

[H/t Mashable]

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