I don’t know Sarah Burke personally. But as a female skier, I’ve watched her and had nothing but admiration for the way she’s hauled the sport forward, leading the charge for proper recognition for women’s freestyle skiing and eventually taking it all the way to the Olympic games. There aren’t too many women at the top of this sport, and fewer still who have the ability to cross over from the park to the big mountain.

I don’t know Sarah. But both the Whistler community and the freeskiing community are small, and I’ve talked to her husband Rory a few times at skiing events. He’s one of the world’s happy people; someone whose positive outlook and sheer energy are so infectious that you walk away buzzing from attitude osmosis. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for her friends and family to live with the uncertainty that surrounds every moment right now. I’ve watched the video of her and Rory discussing how they met and married, and my heart feels sick for the place he must find himself in.

In this world, there’s nothing we can take for granted. Be strong Sarah, and Rory, and everyone around you: keep fighting. You’re too young to die in the mountains just yet. You have a whole lot more living to do.

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