Our Last Date with Sarah Burke

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Canada'’s goddess mother of freekiing, Sarah Burke, holds forth on sex, marriage, gold bikinis, cheese… and maybe even some skiing.

How to put this politely. I’ve always wanted to… um, go on a “date” with Sarah Burke. I first met her in 1999 when she was still jailbait, a cute 17-year-old working on her spins on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier. We’d downloaded together once and talked about hibernation patterns in the Whistling Marmot, but that didn’t really count as a date.

Our Last Date

That summer (or the next—it gets hazy 10 years out) Sarah landed her first 1080, and word spread through the glacier camps like smallpox. From 12-year-old groms to wiry diggers to big-name coaches, everyone agreed history was being made and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl.

That nice girl ended up changing the face of skiing. She worked hard on her tricks, learned how to appease sponsors, and shot to both superstardom and sex-symbol status. Which made it even more diffi cult to arrange a date (famous chicks are never in one place for long and every cheese-dick with a goggle sponsor also wants a piece).

Then skiing’s golden girl moved to the States and won a bunch of X Games, perhaps not in that order (again, hazeee…). Through contests, fi lm segments, and overall awesomeness, Burke continued to push the limits of what was possible on skis and inspire both boys and girls to get out on the slopes.

And then, this past autumn, over a decade after that fateful summer on the Horstman, my chance came. SBC SKIER assigned me to take Sarah out for food, drinks and a chat. That seemed like a date to me—and a paid one at that! The kicker was that in two days she was marrying a mad skier/pilot named Rory Bushfi eld. It could have been awkward, but when we got to the food joint we ordered drinks to cover up the weirdness. Sarah likes vodka on the rocks. She’s hotter in real life, too—curvy but strong, with eyes and a smile that work together in any light. A playful face, but with secrets. Despite my banter—which was laced with sexual innuendo—Sarah remained light and genuine. Still the nice girl, despite fame, fortune and all the idiotic questions.

ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | AUTHOR: FEET BANKS | ISSUE 10.3

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