Sarah Burke, the pioneering skier who pushed for greater exposure for women’s freestyle skiing, is in an induced coma. Burke fell hard in Park City’s superpipe on Tuesday. She was flown to a Salt Lake City hospital in critical condition with a severe head injury. Doctors can “induce” a coma to give the brain time to rest after a severe head injury.The Park City pipe is the same venue Kevin Pearce was riding when he suffered a severe head injury in 2009. Pearce made news recently when he returned to the snow for the first time after his accident.
The Burke accident has brought up safety concerns. Officials acknowledge that the sport is inherently dangerous, but the accident will be looked at closely.
Burke was a 4 time X Games champion and was named Best Female Action Sport Athlete by ESPN in 2007.