Top freestyle skier dies


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The Independent US

The Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, an early gold medal favourite ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, has died from injuries she suffered in a training fall.

Ms Burke, 29, one of the top half-pipe athletes in the world and an ambassador for freestyle skiing, died on Thursday at a hospital in Utah. According to the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, she fell on the Eagle Superpipe after performing a trick known as a Flat Spin 540. Peter Judge, the association's chief executive, said the injury was due to a "freak accident" that happened after Ms Burke, had performed a trick that was well within her capabilities.

"Our hearts go out to Sarah's husband Rory and her entire family. It's difficult for us to imagine their pain and what they're going through," Mr Judge said.

A family spokeswoman said: "Sarah passed away peacefully surrounded by those she loved. In accordance with Sarah's wishes, her organs and tissues were donated to save the lives of others."