Emotional remembrance of Sarah Burke, the girl who built halfpipe skiing

By Paige Paswaters,

A touching tribute was dedicated to Sarah Burke on Thursday at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Sarah’s parents watched as several skiers made their way down the base of the halfpipe in the shape of a heart. Maddie Bowman, the American gold medalist for the event, pointed to the sky when she reached the podium.

Burke spent her life tirelessly working to make halfpipe skiing into an accepted worldwide sport. She succeeded at bringing the sport to the X Games, and not long after she was able to get her sport into the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, she did not make it to its Olympic debut after a fatal accident occurred while practicing in 2012. But, the entire night was dedicated to her. Burke was an idol and an inspiration to Bowman and many other athletes.

According to NBC, Bowman and the others could not wear their “Celebrate Sarah” stickers on their helmets in order to pay respect to Burke, so they decided to point to the sky instead at the medal ceremony.

Burke welcomed Bowman into the sport when she was new and didn’t necessarily know everyone. Bowman whole heartedly stated, “Sarah Burke is watching over us tonight, and we just want to honor her as much as we can.”

The Associated Press tells us Burke was the reason Marie Martinod, the silver medalist from France, came out of retirement to compete in this year’s games after Sarah knocked on her door a few years prior. That was the last time Martinod saw her.

She said, “I did what she wanted me to do.” The French skier even painted snowflakes on her fingernails, which mirrored a tattoo that Sarah had.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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