Freestyle skier Sarah Burke's legacy to be honoured on Flag Day
Peace Tower flag to be presented to her family Saturday
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.