Exactly one year ago Saturday, the world lost one of the most iconic freestyle skiers to ever grace a slope or halfpipe when Sarah Burke tragically died following a training accident in Utah.
The Midland, Ont., native was a multiple X Games and FIS World Cup winner, and was widely credited with helping to make halfpipe skiing an Olympic sport. It was due to make its debut in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, where she would have been strongly favoured to medal.
Last year Winsport Canada introduced the Sarah Burke Performance Award to honour Burke’s contributions to winter sports. Any Canadian athlete who has a podium at a World Cup event at Canada Olympic Park earns a $5,000 award in Burke’s memory.
Winsport has extended the award through the 2013 season; as such, Canadian mogul skiers competing at next Saturday’s 2013 Freestyle Ski Moguls Grand Prix Presented by Volvo will be eligible to earn it in Burke’s memory.
“This is a very fitting way to memorialize, recognize and perpetuate the contributions that Sarah made to sport in this country,” said Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge.
Last year four Canadian freestyle skiers earned Sarah Burke Performance Awards at the World Cup in Calgary.