Freestyle skiers inducted to Olympic Hall of Fame

Two of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association’s most esteemed alumni, Jean-Luc Brassard and the late Sarah Burke, will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame at the Air Canada Centre.

The Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony is the Canadian Olympic Committee’s most prestigious annual event, during which Olympic heroes are honored and Olympic legends are inducted.

CFSA CEO Peter Judge said the Hall of Fame induction provides recognition of the cultural significance of freestyle’s long and distinguished sporting history in this country.

“Both of these athletes have broken barriers in sport. [Barssard] was an exemplary athlete, both in his competitive results and in his comportment off the hill. He continues to be a model ambassador for freestyle. As for [Burke], I think it’s fair to say that she spent her adolescent and adult life in pursuit of excellence and fostered the Olympic dreams of many young women who will follow in her footsteps. She certainly furthered the cause of women in sport and she is an extremely worthy recipient of this extraordinary honor,” said Judge

A four-time Olympian, Brassard was the 1994 Olympic Champion in mogul skiing, and as such was the first Canadian man to win Olympic gold in a skiing event.

Burke, who died in a training accident earlier this year, was a four-time X Games gold medalist in halfpipe skiing. Her commitment and tenacity was a driving force in gaining women equal footing at high profile freestyle events, and in earning her sport inclusion in the Olympic program for the 2014 Sochi Games.

Burke’s mother, Jan Phelan, was equally pleased to see her daughter receive the honor of ‘builder’ by the COC, when the nomination was announced in June she said, “For Sarah, the induction into the Olympic Hall of Fame means the recognition of her years of work to promote the sport she dedicated her life to — all the jumps and crashes, the heartaches and joy, all the rejections, the lobbying, the successes. This induction recognizes what she really accomplished – taking the sport she so loved to its highest level, the Olympic level. She would be so very proud to receive this recognition.”

The CFSA also congratulates additional 2012 inductees Beckie Scott, Daniel Igali, the 2010 Men’s Hockey Team, the 2006 Women’s Hockey Team, Julie Sauvé and Michael Chambers.