Freestyle Skiing

Friday Feb. 14, 2014 20:52 ET

Freestyle skier Sarah Burke's legacy to be honoured on Flag Day

Peace Tower flag to be presented to her family Saturday

  • Sarah Burke with her gold medal after winning the Women's Skiing Superpipe at   Winter X Games 13
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    Sarah Burke poses with her gold medal after winning the Women's Skiing Superpipe at Winter X Games 13 on Buttermilk Mountain on January 23, 2009 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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  • Sarah Burke competes during Ladies' Halfpipe Final of 2008 Freestyle FIS World Cup   in Inawashiro at Alts Bandai
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    Sarah Burke competes during Ladies' Halfpipe Final of 2008 Freestyle FIS World Cup in Inawashiro at Alts Bandai on February 15, 2008 in Inawashiro, Fukushima, Japan. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

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  • Sarah Burke celebrates with her globe after winning the Freestyle World Cup overall halfpipe title in Chiesa   Valmalenco
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    Canada's Sarah Burke celebrates with her globe after winning the Freestyle World Cup overall halfpipe title in Chiesa Valmalenco on March 12, 2008. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Sarah Burke (centre) celebrates on the podium after her victory during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup
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    Canadian Sarah Burke (C) flanked by US Devin Logan (L) and French Anais Caradeux (R) celebrates on the podium after her victory during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup on March 20, 2011. Burke won the e

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  • Sarah Burke competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS freestyle World Cup
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    Canadian Sarah Burke competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS freestyle World Cup on March 20, 2011 in the French ski resort of La Plagne. Burke won the event. (Photo by Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • A cameraman videotapes Sarah Burke as she competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup
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    A cameraman videotapes Canadian Sarah Burke (R) as she competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup on March 20, 2011 in the French ski resort of La Plagne. Burke won the event. (Photo by Jean-Pie

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  • Sarah Burke on the podium after winning the women's freestyle superpipe World Cup
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    Canadian Sarah Burke (C) flanked by Canadian Rosalind Groenewoud (L) and Swiss Virginie Faivre (R) jubilates on the podium after winning the women's freestyle superpipe World Cup on March 20, 2011. (Photo by Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • A closeup of Mikael Kingsbury's helmet at the World Cup Freestyle in 2012, sporting a Sarah Burke sticker on the lower right
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    Canada's Mikael Kingsbury wears a sticker with the initials SB honouring fallen freestyle teammate Sarah Burke during the World Cup Freestyle moguls finals competition in Calgary January 28, 2012. (Photo by Dan Riedlhuber/Reuters)

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  • An athlete wearing a 'Sarah' armband at the Winter X Games
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    An athlete wears am arm band in rememberance of Canadian skier Sarah Burke during the Winter X Games 2012 on January 28, 2012. Burke died January 19, 2012 from injuries she sustained in a training accident in the superpipe in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Do

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  • Kelly Clark sports a 'celebrate Sarah' sticker during the 2012 Winter X Games
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    ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 27: Kelly Clark looks on as she waits or her scores as she won the goal medal in the women's snowboard superpipe during Winter X Games 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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  • A sign is posted in the halfpipe commemorating skier Sarah Burke at the Winter X Games 2012
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    A sign is posted in the halfpipe commemorating skier Sarah Burke at the Winter X Games 2012 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 27, 2012 in Aspen, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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  • Sarah Burke with her gold medal after winning the Women's Skiing Superpipe at   Winter X Games 13
  • Sarah Burke competes during Ladies' Halfpipe Final of 2008 Freestyle FIS World Cup   in Inawashiro at Alts Bandai
  • Sarah Burke celebrates with her globe after winning the Freestyle World Cup overall halfpipe title in Chiesa   Valmalenco
  • Sarah Burke (centre) celebrates on the podium after her victory during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup
  • Sarah Burke competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS freestyle World Cup
  • A cameraman videotapes Sarah Burke as she competes during the Ladies' freestyle skiing halfpipe final as part of the FIS free style World Cup
  • Sarah Burke on the podium after winning the women's freestyle superpipe World Cup
  • A closeup of Mikael Kingsbury's helmet at the World Cup Freestyle in 2012, sporting a Sarah Burke sticker on the lower right
  • An athlete wearing a 'Sarah' armband at the Winter X Games
  • Kelly Clark sports a 'celebrate Sarah' sticker during the 2012 Winter X Games
  • A sign is posted in the halfpipe commemorating skier Sarah Burke at the Winter X Games 2012

The flag that has been flying on top of the Peace Tower in Ottawa will be given to the family of the late freestyle skier Sarah Burke on Saturday, a tribute to her legacy on this year's National Flag of Canada Day.

Each year on Feb. 15, the flag is given to "a great Canadian who has merited recognition of his or her fellow countrymen," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.

Burke, who fought to get her sport included at the 2014 Winter Olympics, died after a training accident in 2012.

Giving the flag to Burke's family is a "fitting tribute," Harper said, especially because the Sochi Olympic Games are underway.

"[Burke] was a real pioneer in her particular sport, a real great heroine among Canadian athletes, a great role model," Harper said.

February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996. It was on Feb. 15, 1965, when Canada's current red and white maple leaf flag was officially hoisted for the first time.

Recent recipients include Canadian astronaut Dave Williams (2013), kids' health promoter Pierre Lavoie in 2013 and "Red Friday Ladies" Lisa Miller and Karen Boire, for their movement to support Canada's troops, in 2011.

 

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