Canadian freeskiing star Sarah Burke, who was seriously injured Tuesday during a fall in the Park City Mountain Resort superpipe, remains hospitalized and in critical condition following surgery a day later in the University of Utah Hospital. She is not in a coma, according to her publicist.
Burke, 29, was injured after crashing at the bottom of Eagle Superpipe. On Wednesday afternoon she underwent a successful operation to repair a torn vertebral artery, which resulted in an intracranial hemorrhage at the
time of her fall.
William T. Couldwell, professor and chair of Neurosurgery at hospital, performed the surgery but said it was too early to make predictions about Burke's recovery.
"With injuries of this type, we need to observe the course of her brain function before making definitive pronouncements about Sarah's prognosis for recovery," Couldwell said. "Our Neuro Critical Care team will be monitoring her condition and response continuously over the coming hours and days."
Burke is a four-time X Games champion and the first female skier to have landed a 1080. Her lobbying efforts were instrumental in bringing women's freeskiing to the X Games and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
On Thursday her publicist issued this statement: "Sarah's family is grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of support from around the globe. Fans may continue to use Sarah's Facebook page to express their wishes and receive updates."
Note: Top image is from Sarah Burke's Facebook page. Below is a video from The Ski Channel revealing a glimpse into the lives of Burke and her new husband and fellow freeskier, Rory Bushfield: