At last year's Winter X Games, Sarah Burke was recovering from a serious back injury and she barely made the finals of the women's Superpipe, placing sixth overall. Now the three-time Winter X gold medalist is recovering from a dislocated shoulder, but she says she's confident and excited heading into this week's Winter X 15. We spoke to her about what new tricks she has planned for this week, the future of Roxy skis, and how married life is treating her.
How are you feeling coming into this year's Winter X?
Excited! I got my shoulder fixed in July and only started skiing pipe about a week ago so I am itching for it. I am feeling great and all healed up. I started skiing the mountain in December and had a blast riding pow. I was cleared to jump after January 1, so I headed to Mammoth to ski park with Kaya [Turskii] and Kristi [Leskinen]. I then headed to Park City for five days of pipe training. So it's been limited but I have been loving every moment out there and definitely taking advantage of training hard while I can. Things are coming together fast and I hope to whip out at least one new trick in my run this year.
Can you tell us what that new trick might be?
New for this year, I have been working a little bit on ally oop flat 5s and corking my nines and hope to get it dialed for my runs.
This is the third year women's slopestyle has been in the X Games. You've seen women's park and pipe skiing come along since the very beginning. What is it like for you now seeing a full field of female competitors and all these talented young up-and-coming girls?
It's insane! I love it. Every year there is a new batch of ladies just killing it out there. It's great because it always brings something new to the sport and keeps us oldies pushing it harder than the year before too.
So your sponsor Roxy isn't making skis anymore but they are still making skis for you? How does that work?
I luckily have skis, yes! But they are taking a bit of a break. Hopefully we'll convince them to start up something new soon.
What will be the first thing you do if/when you find out pipe skiing has made it into the Olympics for 2014?
As far as I am concerned it's in. I am already planning the next couple years out around it. But yes, there will for sure be some major excitement when I hear it officially. Relief! Maybe a glass of champagne too.
You got married recently to a fellow pro skier. How is married life treating you two?
Oh, it's awful. Just kidding. It's been amazing. I couldn't be happier. I got pretty lucky and married one helluva catch.