“It’s where we met,
it’s where we play,
we live . . .
and hopefully where we’ll die.”
Sarah Burke and Rory Bushfield
The skiing world has lost another skier that changed the sport as we know it, Sarah Burke. News of Sarah’s accident was tough to hear. I never even met this woman but I know she was a beautiful and strong skier. I liked what she did for women skiers and women in general. She showed that girls can come to play, they can push limits, they can be beautiful and showed wonderful grace under pressure.
This accident has brought out many reports about the safety of extreme sports like skiing. Once you are the best, jump the highest, do the best tricks… someone else is going to try to do more. Is that bad? Or is the constant challenge good for this sport and for us? In skiing and every sport, we know more about safety equipment and our bodies than ever before. For skiers like Sarah, this isn’t a game or a hobby. It is her life, her profession and her passion. I like this USA Today article that remind us that “You forget how skilled and calculated the athletes that are doing these tricks and making this their lives are”.
I love to ski. Hopefully I will ski my whole life. I have only had one nasty spill (remarkably it was the DAY I bought my first helmet). It was scary enough to remind me of the power of what you are dealing with here – speed, nature, elements, the human body… damn trees…
When something like this happens there is the difficult topic of the beauty in dying doing something you love. It is so hard to think about and almost impossible to appreciate. I hope for anyone who loses their life doing something they love that they felt little pain and that this was how they did honestly want to end their time on this earth.
Below is a well done tribute video and a promo for an upcoming special with Sarah and her husband Rory. In the promo is the quote that I led this post with. Beautiful at the time of filming but eerie on this end of it.
Any news like this also makes me think about my old college friend Billy Poole. Billy was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Before Facebook and MySpace, I lost touch with my old friend. I heard he was living his dream and skiing professionally through our other friends. I heard of his passing the same way. I am glad he ‘made it’. I am proud of him. The Billy Poole Memorial Fund has been set up in his honor to help get kids involved with skiing and outdoor programs.
Ski in peace Sarah and Billy.
Thanks for doing what you love and for sharing your lives with us and the sport.