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Sarah Burke on the Slopes

Legacy.com / Nick Ehrhardt

Sarah Burke on the Slopes

Sarah Burke was a legend in her sport, women's freestyle skiing. It wasn't just her remarkable prowess that made her so notable – although she was perhaps the best, winning gold medals in Superpipe at four out of the past five Winter X Games, and performing feats no other female skier had ever done.

Beyond her skill and mastery of the sport, Sarah Burke's passion made her stand out. Her lobbying efforts led the X Games to add women's Slope Style skiing, and she also successfully convinced the Olympics to add Superpipe Skiing to the winter program. Thanks to Burke, the event will debut at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, and Burke herself would have been a favorite for a gold medal.

But Sarah Burke won't be skiing at those Olympics – she died on January 19, nine days after suffering a head injury while training. But she lived to see her dream begin to be realized with the announcement of Superpipe's inclusion in the 2014 Olympics. And she inspired women and girls all over – some of whom, we know, will be winning those future Olympic and X Games medals for performing the spectacular tricks Burke perfected.