Sarah Burke’s Death Breathes Life Into a New Olympic Sport
If you watched the women's Olympic freestyle skiing halfpipe last night, two things happened. It was the first time anyone had seen it and you cried.
I spent last night's Olympics under a warm blanket on the couch munching on popcorn. I was looking forward to watching women's skating and the fifteen year old Russian skater I call "the human pretzel." She's amazing! While waiting, I really got into the debut of women's freestyle skiing. It started off with video of unbelievable acrobatics in the air. I could feel my mouth wide open, watching in awe. I didn't want to change the channel, I wanted to see more of these amazing woman flying through the air, so I settled myself in to be amazed.
I was amazed alright, not by the air these woman could take but the woman who made it all happen, Sarah Burke was a Canadian freestyle skier who was a pioneer of the Superpipe event. She was a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist, and won the world championship in the halfpipe in 2005. She successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee to have the event added to the Olympic program this year! She was considered a medal favorite in the event and a friend of everyone in the halfpipe family.. Burke died nine days after a training accident in Utah.
Maddie Bowman became the youngest American to win a gold medal last night and she pointed to the sky in memory of Sarah.
It was a beautiful start to an incredible new event and a touching tribute to a woman deemed the Godmother of the Halfpipe. If you get the chance, watch the story of Sarah in an incredible piece aired on NBC last night. Go to NBC.COM to see it. Just a warning, you will need tissues.