Sarah Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier who was expected to excel at the 2014 Winter Olympics, was seriously injured yesterday in a 22-foot halfpipe in Park City, Utah.
Burke hit her head while attempting to land a trick and had to be immediately airlifted to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, according to the New York Times.
"Sarah sustained serious injuries and remains intubated and sedated in critical condition," neurointensivist Safdar Ansari said in a statement.
Burke, a 29-year-old from Ontario, is a four-time X Games champion. She had successfully lobbied to add halfpipe skiing to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She was also expected to defend her X Games gold medal this month in Aspen, Colo.
"Sarah is a very strong young woman, and she will most certainly fight to recover," husband Rory Bushfield said in a statement. This sad news comes just two years after champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce sustained a similarly traumatic head injury, also in Park City, on Dec. 31, 2009.