Mission: To provide inspiration and support to those in need
Sarah Burke was so much more than just a successful athlete; She was a leader in the sport community, a respected media personality, and an action sports icon. She was also an activist and a philanthropist, who devoted much of her life to helping others.
Whether it was running marathons to raise money for St.Judes Children’s Hospital, traveling to work with the Women’s Sport Foundation, or coaching young skiers on the glaciers in the summertime, Sarah’s spirit of generosity, and desire to help those in need, was a defining aspect of her life.
The Sarah Burke Foundation is committed to the altruistic ideals embodied by Sarah’s life and her actions. The foundation will preserve Sarah’s goodwill and her actions, by supporting and inspiring current and future generations. All support will allow us to carry on Sarah’s spirit and legacy by supporting others in sport and future generations.
There was a magic about Sarah
Sarah was a trailblazer, a pioneer of her sport and an inspiration to thousands of women. Every woman in freestyle skiing owes something to Sarah; she fought hard for equality and proved to the world that women deserve a place on the half-pipe and slope style.
Born in Ontario Canada, Sarah came from a family dedicated to skiing. Both mother Jan Phelan and father Gord Burke had skied all their lives and passed on that passion to their daughters, Anna and Sarah. Her grandparents were also avid skiers.
Sarah immediately showed a love for moguls, disappearing into the black diamond mogul hills where you could see only her head popping up and down. She seemed to be born without fear.
When she started to compete in moguls at the age of 14, she soon showed a natural talent for jumps and had “good air sense”. Striving to push the limits, she always looked to master new, harder tricks. She was the first female to land a 720, 900, and a 1080 in a competition.
Failure did not exist for Sarah; some things simply took longer to master
Sarah was a founding member of the National Half Pipe team, joining in 1997 before the team had any funding support. Eager to share her skills and enthusiasm, she coached at Momentum Ski Camps for 7 years. She was instrumental in creating “Girl’s Week” at the camp and often mentored the girls she would be competing against in the future. She constantly worked to get the women to competition levels and expand the sport. When she started at the camp, she was the only female. Now there are 40.
Momentum Ski Camp has created the “Spirit of Sarah Scholarship” so her legacy will continue.
When Sarah first started her career, she was the only woman competing and now, the Association of Free-skiing Professionals have almost 100 women
Sarah participated every year in the Nautica South Beach Triathalon as a fundraiser for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She wanted to help children stricken with cancer.
She successfully lobbied for freeskiing’s inclusion in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sarah was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in the Builder category as a member of the class of 2012. In 2014, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
The Sarah Burke Foundation was created to act as a Scholarship Foundation for athletes, while also donating to organizations Sarah would choose to support to continue her legacy.
Her medals and accomplishments made her famous but, Sarah’s kind, gracious and humble nature are what truly set her apart. A beloved and greatly admired woman, Sarah is missed by her family, friends, fans and fellow athletes.
Regardless of her status as an athlete superstar, she was always a kind, humble and generous person, full of integrity. This was what endeared her to all, and made the worldwide reaction to her loss so dramatic ……all the hearts she deeply touched in her life. She made life more beautiful.
Who We Are
Rory Bushfield | President