Tributes to Burke begin before X Games

4:25 PM, Jan 25, 2012   |    comments
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - DECEMBER 09: Sarah Burke of Canada skis to seventh place in the halfpipe finals of the FIS Freestyle World Cup at the VISA US Freeskiing Grand Prix on December 9, 2011 in Copper Mountain, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Burke, a four-time X Games champion, died last week from injuries suffered during an accident while she was training for this week's action in Aspen.

An official tribute to the Canadian, who helped push her discipline of superpipe skiing into the Olympics, will take place Thursday.

But during training runs and at a pre-event news conference Wednesday, Burke was on everyone's mind.

Canadian ski halfpipe coach, Trennon Paynter, set the tone by tweeting a picture from the top of the mountain with a bumper sticker that reads "Celebrate Sarah."

Wrote Paynter: "Sun is shining on the XGames pipe for the first training session. She is right here with us."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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