Men’s and women’s halfpipe skiing is set to make its Olympic debut over the next two weeks in Sochi, Russia. This week in Squamish, Canada Post dedicated a stamp honouring a dynamic local woman who helped put it there.
On Monday (Feb. 2), the Crown corporation unveiled a stamp depicting Squamish-based freeskiing pioneer Sarah Burke, smiling and carrying her skis through the snow, during a ceremony at the Garibaldi Highlands Post Office.
Burke, winner of four gold medals in ski halfpipe at the Winter X Games, died after crashing while training in Utah in January 2012. Known for her relentlessly positive attitude, her efforts “helped elevate her sport to where it is today,” officials said in a statement.
“Sarah was quite relentless in pursuit of getting her sport into the Olympics. That was the height of her career,” Jan Phelan, Burke’s mother, told about 40 people who gathered for the stamp unveiling ceremony.
The group included Mayor Rob Kirkham and Elanor Bushfield, Burke’s sister-in-law. Bushfield talked about the work of the Sarah Burke Foundation, which aims to support young female athletes in their pursuit of excellence in sport.
Said Robert Sawka, Canada Post director of operations and delivery in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, “She was truly a pioneer in her sport and this stamp captures that pioneering spirit.”
On the same day, Canada Post also unveiled stamps honouring two other pioneering Canadian female athletes — curler Sandra Schmirler and figure skater Barbara Ann Scott.