Sarah Burke's Death: Extreme Sports Dangers

Freestyle skier's fatal head injury highlights dangers of extreme sports.
2:08 | 01/21/12

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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.

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