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Ontario government naming highway after freestyle skiing pioneer Sarah Burke

Sarah Burke reacts after failing to place in the top-three at the 2010 Winter X Games

David Zalubowski/The Associated Press

The Ontario government is honouring the late Sarah Burke by dedicating a highway to the freestyle skiing pioneer.

Highway 93 will be known as the Sarah Burke Memorial Highway. The road runs for 24 kilometres through Simcoe County, the region where Burke was born and raised.

"That's a great idea," said Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada's silver medallist in freestyle moguls at the Sochi Olympics. "She was such a great skier, everything that you heard about her was only positive, a girl who smiles."

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"A perfect inspiration for young girls," added Chloe's sister Justine, who won moguls gold in Sochi.

The 29-year-old Burke, who was born in Barrie, Ont., and grew up in Midland, died after a training accident in Utah in January 2012.

Burke was a four-time X Games champion and a driving force behind the inclusion of halfpipe and slopestyle in the Olympics.

The events made their Olympic debut last month in Sochi.

"The Sarah Burke Memorial Highway will provide a lasting reminder of her accomplishments," Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday.

Burke's teammates honoured her in Sochi by spreading her ashes on the Olympic halfpipe, high on a mountain above it and near the Olympic rings in the athletes village.

Mikael Kingsbury, who won a silver moguls medal for Canada in Sochi, called the highway dedication "very cool."

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"She was an awesome woman," he said. "I had the chance to meet her the summer before she passed away. The sport misses her and she was a great example for anyone. She deserves that highway."

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