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MailTribune.com
  • Sarah Burke's night; Maddie Bowman's gold in Sochi Games

  • KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Sarah Burke's parents looked up the hill and saw the halfpipe workers making one last trip down in the formation of a heart.
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  • KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Sarah Burke's parents looked up the hill and saw the halfpipe workers making one last trip down in the formation of a heart.
    They looked the other direction and saw the scoreboard: Maddie Bowman of the United States won gold, Marie Martinod of France took silver and Ayana Onozuka of Japan took bronze.
    All around them Thursday, Burke's parents saw their late daughter's dreams play out on a crisp, clear night in the mountains above Sochi — a night her dad, Gord Burke, called "perfect." His daughter had succeeded not only in bringing women's halfpipe skiing to the Olympics, but also to the world.
    "Far beyond what I thought it would be," said Gord Burke. "I never really imagined so much love for one person. So much passion and energy."
    Burke was the Canadian freeskiing icon — a four-time winner of the Winter X Games — who fought hard, first to get women involved in her sport, then to take it to the highest level.
    The International Olympic Committee added halfpipe and slopestyle skiing to the program in 2011. Less than a year later, Burke died after suffering fatal injuries during a training run in the halfpipe. She was 29 and would have almost certainly been the favorite in this event had she been here.
    This was still her night, and none of the 23 skiers who dropped into the pipe could argue with that.
    Including the gold-medal winner, Bowman. The 20-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., felt like an outsider when she started in the sport and called meeting Burke "the coolest moment of my life."
    "The first time she met Sarah, she was off by herself," said Bowman's mom, Susan. "Sarah saw that she was by herself and brought her over, introduced herself and brought her into the group. It was pretty amazing."
    Nordic Combined
    Norway finished third in the ski jumping and had to start the 20-kilometer race behind. But cross-country ski specialist Mangus Moan made up the deficit on the first leg and Norway outdueled Germany and defending champion Austria in the relay.
    Curling
    Canada's 6-3 gold medal victory in women's Olympic curling came at the expense of Sweden, which had beaten the Canadians for the title in Vancouver four years ago.
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