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Freeskiing star Sarah Burke seriously injured in crash

January 11, 2012 |  8:13 am

Sarah Burke in 2010

Canadian freeskiing superstar Sarah Burke, a favorite to win the gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, was seriously injured Tuesday during a crash in the halfpipe at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.

The location of the accident is the same place where snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a serious head injury while training for the 2010 Olympics.

Burke, a four-time X Games champion, hit her head on impact and was airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City. Pete Thomas of grindtv.com reports she is in a coma.

"We're a bit shell-shocked right now," Peter Judge, chief executive of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Assn., told the Toronto Star. "The signs are dramatic and catastrophic, but it's hard to gauge how dramatic and catastrophic. The same treatment and symptoms can be on a broad scale."

Burke's husband, Rory Bushfield, told the Vancouver Sun: "Sarah is a very, very strong human and she will be fine."

Freeskiing involves tricks, jumps and terrain park features, such as rails, boxes, jibs or other obstacles. Think of it as a skateboard park in the snow.

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-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Sarah Burke in 2010. Credit: David Zalubowski / Associated Press

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