Burke, Brassard tabbed for Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame


Canadian freestyle skiing pioneers Jean-Luc Brassard and the late Sarah Burke, will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in September. The Canadian Olympic Committee issued the announcement yesterday (June 12) that the freestyle skiers were among its 2012 nominees.

A four-time Olympian, Brassard was the 1994 Olympic Champion in mogul skiing and 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.

“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,” said Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge. “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.”

Burke’s mother, Jan Phelan, was equally pleased to see her daughter receive the honor of ‘Builder’ by the COC. “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,” said Phelan. “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.”

Joining Burke and Brassard in the 2012 inductee class is Beckie Scott (Cross-Country Skiiing), Daniel Igali (Freestyle Wrestling), the 2010 Men’s Hockey Team, the 2006 Women’s Hockey Team, Julie Sauvé (synchronize swimming coach) and Michael Chambers (former president of the Canadian Olympic Committee).

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