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Ten years later, Freeski Pioneer, Sarah Burke continues to inspire Winter Olympic Dreams

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Seven Sarah Burke Foundation Recipients Competing in 2022 Beijing Games

February 10, 2022 – Denver, CO:  As the Sarah Burke Foundation marks its tenth anniversary, it is proud to announce that four of its “Up and Coming” Scholarship winners and three of its “Spirit of Sarah” Scholarship recipients are currently making their sports dreams come true on behalf of Teams USA, Canada and Great Britain at this Olympiad. 

“Up and Coming” 

Liam Gill will represent Canada in Snowboard Halfpipe. Maddie Mastro and Tessa Maud will compete for Team USA in Snowboard Slopestyle and Snowboard Halfpipe, respectively.  Winter Vinicki will aim for Gold on behalf of Team USA in Women’s Aerials.  Slopestyle, and Dylan Ladd has been selected as a Team USA Ski Slopestyle First Alternate.

“Spirit of Sarah” 

Elena Gaskell and Megan Oldham will both compete for Team Canada in Ski Slopestyle.  Kristy Muir will represent Team Great Britain in Women’s Ski slopestyle.  

Created in honor of Sarah Burke, the world’s first female professional Freeskier whose lobbying efforts made it possible for Women’s Halfpipe and Slopestyle Skiing to become Olympic sports, Sarah was a Sochi Gold Medal favorite when she tragically passed at the age of 29. Sarah’s husband, professional skier, Rory Bushfield, together with Sarah’s family, created the Sarah Burke Foundation in 2012 to continue what Sarah did best, which was to enthusiastically support others in the pursuit of their athletic dreams. 

Since the Foundation’s inception, each year, the organization honors exceptional, young winter athletes who most embody Sarah’s ideals, and provides them with monetary scholarships to help them along their sports journey. Now, for the first time ever, SEVEN of the Foundation’s recipients will collectively carry Sarah’s spirit and memory with them as they compete on the greatest sports stage in the world. 

On the heels of the tenth anniversary of her death, Sarah’s personal and professional legacy profoundly continues. Beloved by her fellow athletes, direct competitors and the global public, Sarah’s kindness and generosity are a thing of legend. But it was the success she achieved in the sport she helped shape – from the countless World Cup wins, the multiple X Games and Dew Tour Gold Medals, the ESPY accolades (including being the first skier to ever be recognized), and her tireless advocacy for recognition and equal pay for women, are for what she will most be remembered, by future generations of fans and athletes alike. 

Reflecting on Sarah’s influence these ten years later, Bushfield said, “When we created The Sarah Burke Foundation, it was done to honor her memory and pay it forward spirit, but it was also conceived in heartbreak. Today, through the incredible efforts of many, it is truly a thing of hope and joy. I know that if Sarah could see what she started and the inspiration she’s had on so many people over the years, she’d be wowed. I couldn’t be prouder of our Foundation recipients over the last decade and am cheering on our recipients in Beijing. I hope that Sarah will continue encouraging everyone to be better and to reach higher.  I know that’s certainly what she would have wanted.”