Canadian freestyle skiing star Sarah Burke was in a coma and in critical condition, on Tuesday night, after a training accident in Park City, Utah.
According to the Toronto Star, Burke, 29, was preparing for this month’s 2012 X Games, when she crashed and suffered a serious head injury during an attempted trick on the Park City Resort’s superpipe.
“We’re a bit shell-shocked right now,” said Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. “We know that she had landed a trick in the pipe and had landed at the bottom of the pipe and kind of hit on her feet, so she landed, and then bounced onto her feet, head kind of thing.
“Apparently from what we heard it didn’t look like it was that kind of severe a fall, but obviously she must have just hit in the right way.”
Following the accident, Burke – considered a pioneer in the sport of skiing superpipe – was airlifted to a Salt Lake City hospital. Her husband and fellow pro skier Rory Bushfield sent out a Twitter message Tuesday night asking if anyone knew someone with a private jet that could fly him and Burke’s mother from Vancouver to Salt Lake City.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Bushfield told reporters that he was confident his wife would pull through.
“Sarah is a very, very strong human and she will be fine,” Bushfield told The Vancouver Sun.
The accident isn’t Burke’s first as she missed significant time in 2009 when she landed awkwardly and broke a vertebrae in her lower back.
Since healing, Sarah has returned to the top of her game and was scheduled to defend her title at the Winter X Games later this month in Aspen.
Check out Sarah Burke’s Superpipe Gold Medal run in the Winter X Games 15 below: