American team donates money for Sarah Burke


American ski jumpers donate a portion of their prize money from Zakopane to the family of the late Sarah Burke.

The jumpers of the U.S. team will donate a portion of the prize money they received at the Continental Cups in Zakopane to the family of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, to help them covering medical costs. Burke died at age 29 on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah after suffering a serious fall while training in Park City. The family of Burke has to cover medical costs in the amount of U$ 550 000. At the Continental Cups in Zakopane the prize money of World Cups was paid, as these events were scheduled as replacement of the cancelled World Cups in Szczyrk.

Burke was a pioneer of freeskiing. She fought for equal treating of genders in sports and played a decisive role in the recognition of freeskiing by the IOC. Her fight for recognition was in many ways comparable to the fight of the female ski jumpers for their inclusion to the Olympic program.

Alissa Johnson: “I met Sarah for the first time in NYC at the Women’s Sports Foundation Gala. She was a beautiful and well spoken and shared the same passion for her sport as I do. She had been through many of the same struggles to have her sport recognized by the IOC. She was an incredible women who left behind an amazing legacy. Her untimely death hits close to home and donating a portion of our prize money is the least we can do to help alleviate some of the financial burden that has fallen on her family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and we hope that through this difficult time we can find the strength to celebrate her life.”

Abby Hughes: “For me, when I first heard the news of her passing, it made me realize that life is more precious than we take it for most of the time. It put a lot of things in my life into a greater perspective. I am so grateful to have the opportunities that have been given to me and i am so thankful for all of those who support me and love me. We are truly blessed. I did not know Sarah personally, but all I have heard of her are great things, she is a trailblazer for all of women in skiing if not all sports. Her passion will live on through all of us, and I can only hope that we are able to pass it on to younger generations. My heart goes out to her family and friends, as well as the entire skiing/sport community.”

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