Trennon Paynter, Canadian Ski Halfpipe Team Head Coach, was on hand to help posthumously induct Sarah Burke into the Builder category of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. Burke helped usher the halfpipe into a mainstream sport and will now be an official Olympic event in 2014.
To speak of Sarah Burke, is to speak of love:
It’s to speak of her love of sport, her love for her family and friends, her love for her fellow athletes and competitors. Sarah loved breaking down barriers.
She loved dropping into the halfpipe and flying through the air. She loved to compete. She loved to scare herself, challenge herself, and push herself to new heights.
That love that she so beautifully presented to the world, was returned to her by the world.
She was universally loved by the sport community, by all those who knew her, and by thousands who had never met her in person, but were inspired by her athletic talent, her actions, her grace, her humility, and her smile – she was the fiercest competitor, but she always had the biggest smile.
She was an athlete with the purest motivation, and it was simply to become the absolute best that she could possibly be at her sport.
Her achievements in sport are too numerous to count.
Her influence on her sport, and on countless young girls around the world who wish to follow in her footsteps, is too great to measure.
Her achievements in life are just as impressive, and she is an inspiration not only to athletes, but to everyone.
Sarah was everything that a role model should be. She was, and always will be, a shining example of an athlete, a game changer, an innovator, a great person, and a proud Canadian.
In 2014, the sport that Sarah helped to build is going to debut in the Winter Olympics.
Sarah’s love will be profoundly felt by countless people in those Games.
Sarah’s love of competition, her love of Canada, and her love of her sport will be with us.
Sarah will be there with us.
Sarah will be what she wished for since she was a child, and what she has earned with a lifetime of love, dedication, and excellence. Sarah will be an Olympian.