20 Jan 2012

Canadian freestyle skier dies

2:47 pm on 20 January 2012

The Canadian freestyle ski star Sarah Burke has died from injuries sustained in a superpipe training accident suffered earlier this month.

The 29-year-old fell on a training superpipe at Park City, Utah last week.

Doctors said she suffered a ruptured vertebral artery that reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to severe bleeding. She remained in a coma and on life support from the time she reached the Salt Lake City hospital.

Doctors discovered Burke had suffered irreversible brain damage after going into cardiac arrest.

Burke, a four-time Winter X Games champion, has been instrumental in raising the profile of freestyle halfpipe and was an enthusiastic and influential supporter of its inclusion in the Olympics from 2014.

Burke would have been among the medal favorites in Sochi for the women's superpipe debut.

The Park City course where Burke was injured was the same one upon which snowboarder Kevin Pearce was critically injured in a 2009 training run.

Pearce recovered and returned to snowboarding last month.