Sarah Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier who won the X Games gold four times, died earlier today after landing on her head in a skiing accident on January 10th in Lake City, Utah.
Burke was injured on the same course that seriously injured snowboarder Kevin Pearce in 2009. Despite completing the trick, Burke still managed to land incorrectly, on her head and neck, which caused her to go into cardiac arrest on the slope.
After being resuscitated and transferred to University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Burke fell into a coma.
Despite having neurosurgery to repair a vertebral artery, Burke’s publicist, Nicole Wool, stated that her injuries had resulted in “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest.”
Burke helped to introduce superpipe skiing as a competition in the Olympic winter games. The discipline will debut at the Sochi Games in 2014.
Burke was a tissue and organ donor. She was 29. She is survived by her husband Rory Bushfield, a fellow skier.
Watch ESPN’s tribute to the late Sarah Burke below: