Sarah Burke Remembered at Sochi Olympics in Touching Tribute, Her Parents and Husband React
Showing love to Sarah Burke! The late Canadian freestyle skier was honored at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Thursday, Feb. 20. Crew members skied down the middle of the halfpipe in the shape of a heart to honor Burke, who helped bring halfpipe skiing to the Olympics.
Burke died at the age of 29 from injuries she sustained during a training accident in January 2012. Her family, mom Jan Phalen and dad Gord Burke, and husband Rory Bushfield, were in Sochi Thursday to watch the debut of the halpipe event.
"It was a moving and touching finale to the achieving of Sarah's dream," Phalen told Us Weekly senior reporter Jennifer Peros after watching the tribute to her late daughter. "It was really beautiful, really beautiful." Burke's father Gord added: "It was the best surprise of a perfect night."
Bushfield appreciated seeing his wife's accomplishments recognized. "I Loved it!" he told Us. "I'm so thankful for the outpouring of love and support for Sarah and for the efforts of everyone who made it possible."
Burke was also honored by the halfpipe event medal winners -- USA's Maddie Bowman (gold), France's Marie Martinod (silver) and Japan's Ayana Onozuka (bronze) -- when they took the podium and pointed to the sky.
Bowman explained to NBC: "Sarah Burke is watching over us tonight, and we just want to honor her as much as we can."