• By: Marie Waine

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Sarah Burke

In honour of the upcoming Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Celebrations presented by Canadian Tire on October 22, OLM will be featuring inductees—recent and historic—in a weekly Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile piece.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.

Sarah Burke: Freestyle Skier

Freestyle skier Sarah Burke was more than just a successful athlete. With countless medals and titles tied to her name, Burke was an icon and a leader in the sports community. She showed passion and determination on and off the slopes.

Sarah Burke PhotoBorn in Barrie, Ontario, Burke’s love for skiing came from her family. Both her grandparents and parents were skiers. She faced the hills with no fear, conquering moguls at an early age and becoming the first female to land a 720, 900 and 1080 degree rotation during competition.

Burke began her sport when there were no women competitors and competing with men was her only option. Her enthusiasm and belief that all females should have an equal chance spurred Burke on to train countless female athletes. Her perseverance in creating a community of female competitors was instrumental in the recent inclusion of freestyle skiing at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

However, Burke’s determination to make a difference in the world did not stop there. She ran marathons for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and worked with the Women’s Sport Foundation. Sadly, in January 2012, Burke passed away at the age of 29 after succumbing to injuries suffered while training.

Burke was a trailblazer and pioneer in her sport. She lived her life with a commitment to everything she did. Burke was an extraordinary individual and will always remain a great role model for youth and women across the world. Being inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on October 22 will show other Canadians her warmth, kindness, generosity and drive to push boundaries.