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Freestyle skier Sarah Burke goes into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Pioneer recognized for skill, heart

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A ceremony in Toronto on Oct. 22 marked a career ended much too early.

Freestyle skier Sarah Burke was posthumously inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame that evening.

Burke was 29 when she died in January 2012 after a training accident in Park City, Utah. She was originally from Midland, Ont., but grew up on the slopes of Whistler and resided in Squamish with her husband Rory Bushfield at the time of her death.

Burke was a four-time gold medallist at the Winter X Games, the FIS Freestyle World Ski champion in half-pipe in 2005, the Nippon Open Slopestyle champion in 2007 and the gold medallist at Whistler's own World Ski Invitational in 2007.

Burke also was the first woman to land 720, 900, and 1080 rotations in competition.

Burke began competing when she could only compete against men, but helped fight to bring freestyle skiing to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Others inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame as athletes included ski jumper Horst Bulau, cyclist and cross-country skier Pierre Harvey, hockey player Geraldine Heaney, figure skater Elizabeth Manley and rugby player Gareth Rees. Wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and basketball coach Kathy Shields went in as builders.

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