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Skiers hit the halfpipe despite Burke's injury

Lynn Debruin / AP

Members of the French National team practice for the Winter X Games as a shadow is cast into the 22-foot superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah, Jan 12, 2012. Though they just arrived at this Utah mountain town, they know this is the pipe where Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, in critical condition at a nearby hospital, was injured just days ago.

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images file

Sarah Burke of Whistler, Canada poses with her gold medal after winning the Women's Skiing Superpipe at Winter X Games 13 on Buttermilk Mountain on January 23, 2009 in Aspen, Colorado.

Update:

Jan. 19: Canadian skier Sarah Burke dies of injuries

While I understand that new Olympic sports like freestyle skiing and snowboarding in halfpipes are extremely popular with younger sports fans, it concerns me that a second young star has been grievously injured in a fall.

Like the death of a luger at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, I suspect it will take a death in this sport before ski authorities like the FIS address the safety of these sports.

AP reports:

PARK CITY, Utah - The afternoon sun has cast a giant shadow across one wall of the imposing 22-foot superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort.

On the other, members of the French national team are illuminated as they catch big air, twisting and spinning as they prepare for another run at the Winter X Games later this month.

Though they just arrived at this Utah mountain town, they know this is the pipe where Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, in critical condition at a nearby hospital, was injured just days ago. And it is the same pipe where champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury two years ago.

Mark J. Terrill / AP file

In this Feb. 5, 2011, photo, Sarah Burke, of Canada, competes in the women's halfpipe finals at the freestyle skiing world championships in Park City, Utah. Burke took fourth in the event. Burke was in critical condition Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, a day after she was airlifted from the mountains of Utah to a Salt Lake City hospital with injuries after a training accident in the superpipe.

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