Before this week you probably had never heard of Sarah before. She was born in Barrie, grew up in Midland and became a pioneer in the freeskiing world. She was one of a handful of women who would make appearances in the ski movies I'd buy each year, throwing down along side the fellas and holding her own against the guys.
I don't know Sarah personally, but the news yesterday hit me harder than expected. Sarah was the same age as me and my own mortality became very real in that moment.
Every year my family would take a trip west during March break. Lake Louise, Whistler, Big White, all bring back special memories for me. I was raised to love the mountains, skiing, fresh pow, bluebird days and the adrenaline rush from pushing myself past the barrier of fear.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sarah. She pushed to have women included in X-Games competition, and she spearheaded the inclusion of female skier halfpipe in the 2014 Olympics. (Which she was favoured in.)
Sarah chased her dreams. That is probably the number one thing I respect in someone, chasing the dream God has placed in them, no matter the opposition.
I watched this video this morning with tears in my eyes. I can't imagine what Rory must be feeling today.
To be so young.
To be so in love with someone, and lose them so early.
To see Sarah fight so hard to have her sport included in the Olympics and realize she'll never see it happen.
To have to go through the rest of his life without Sarah to laugh, cry, and celebrate with.
So today, if you have a moment, pray for Sarah's husband Rory, the Burke family, and the action sports community. Pray that they sense God's presence in this difficult time. That He is right along side them, mourning with them.