Sarah Burke's Death: Extreme Sports Dangers

Freestyle skier's fatal head injury highlights dangers of extreme sports.
2:08 | 01/20/12

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Transcript for Sarah Burke's Death: Extreme Sports Dangers
The death of a young woman a -- is champion is raising some tough questions tonight about the new breed of athletes pushing the envelope hard. Is it time to draw a new lives ABC's Ron Claiborne has the story. Sarah -- for -- winter X games gold medalist was finishing a practice run at park city Utah with a -- she had done hundreds maybe thousands of times before. This time something went horribly wrong she landed on her head severing an artery to -- brain. She died nine days later. This is legend that will long live. Even -- she's gone and the sadness that pervades her sport today and it's just extraordinary. Her death that's putting a new spotlight on extreme sports which are getting more extreme every year. -- physician for the US snowboarding association says half pipes for example of gone from sixteen to eighteen and now 22 feet. In 2009 Kevin -- a promising young -- suffered a severe head injury when he crashed in the exact same spot as -- Librarians. Feel you're playing -- it's gonna continue to be still healing so our you know I'm not really in the condition occurring now it. It. What it's not just professional athletes weekend -- emulate these daredevil. And they are also giving it certainly you know a lot of this there there may be some examination to try and create more mechanisms or make the sport safer look at them it's -- was well aware -- and accepted the dangers inherent in freestyle skiing. Hero is really pushing yourself to do something that. It's really tough and learn in her and progress so a lot of injuries involved and always a bit of risk suppressed. Off the mountains she was one of the most glamorous female athletes in the world. On the mountain she was a fearsome. And fearless competitor. -- successfully lobby the international Olympic committee to add three -- half pipe skiing as an Olympic sport. She would have been the favorite to win the gold. Ron Claiborne ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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