Catching Up With Sarah Burke

Comments by Shay Williams/

Sarah Burke has reigned as Queen of the superpipe—and our hearts—for a number of years. In between contests and rehab sessions, we snagged some Skype time with Sarah while she was at her home in Squamish, BC to see how her season is going.

Sarah Burke

Freeskier: We haven't seen you this much this year on the comp scene. Care to explain to all the fanboys why you've been so elusive this year?
 
Sarah Burke: Well, I guess it starts back in July. I had surgery on my shoulder with a six-month recovery, so I wasn't skiing until January. And then I did X Games and World Champs. My plan was to do a little more, but after World Champs I went to Revelstoke to ski and crashed and tore the cartilage off my sternum. So I've been trying to let that recover for the last three weeks. I'm just starting to ski again and get back to it.

FS: Can you speak more slowly.

SB: Yup, no problemo.

Link: Read about Sarah's history and career in our profile of her from Vol. 11

FS: Speaking of X Games. You won. How does it feel to be back on the podium?

SB: Amazing. I guess ever since the beginning, I've been on the podium but last year I missed it. I was having an off year. So it was a little sad. But this year was great to get back on it. To have such a short amount of time to get into it made it a little bit more meaningful. 

FS: How did you cope with only having three or four weeks to ski before X?

SB: I think the break was really good. Last year I was a little burnt out and didn't perform the way I wanted to all year long .The break of the surgery and rehab was great for me. It kind of gave me back my love for skiing and the passion for it. I've loved every skiing everyday and enjoyed it more. Having that made me want to train hard and prove to myself and show people that I wasn't done. That it wasn't over. [laughs] It was a short turn around but it was fun every day with Trennon learning something or trying something harder. it was all fresh again.

FS: You're not speaking slower. You're speaking faster.

SB: Soooorrrrrrrrrryyyyyy.

FS: So you said that you weren't done. That it wasn't over. But usually married people are over it.

SB: Usually is the key word. I ain't going nowhere.

Sarah Burke with her Winter X Games 15 Superpipe gold medal

FS: What's next for you, after the sternum thing heals?
 
SB: Well, I'm just starting to feel better. I'm gonna hit Euro X Games, I'm headed there Friday. I'm pumped about that. Then I'm doing Nine Queens. I'm excited, it should be a great event and I'm looking forward to riding with those chicks. And then who knows. Hopefully come back here and ski some pow or park and do whatever. I'm playing it all by ear at the moment. Then we got WSI. My plan to do less contests is quickly filling up with contests.

FS: Speaking of WSI, apparently they have a Chevy Cruse for a prize.. Can yourself in a new Chevy Cruse? Outside of WSI, I mean, could you see yourself in it?

SB: I prefer my WRX. But you know, if it's black, I could be interested.

FS: Are are you excited for WSI to bring back all the events?

SB: Yeah, definitely. It's an event that I've been doing since… 1999. I think. I'm dating myself a little. It's always been a fun event, the best way to end the year. And the fact that they are bringing back all the events and having such big prize money is great. The lineup of music is cool. They are doing a really good thing. Making it what it should be again.

FS: I bet you're stoked that you don't have to fly there.

SB: I am. I would like the points for flying, but it's nice to have the hometown crowd and resort and know it inside out and know all my buddies there.

FS: How do rehab a sternum injury, anyway?

SB: A lot of nothing. Sadly. It's like a rib kind of, you have to just let it heal. I've been going to physio and getting IMS needles.

FS: That sounds painful.

SB: It feels weird, but I love it. It fixes things fast.

FS: Have you been relying on Rory to wait on you hand and foot?

SB: He hasn't been here much and I'm not a being-doted-on type of person, quite the opposite which is bad. i wish Rory was doing it all.

FS: Since you've been on the couch more or less, watching a little tv, what's your take on this Charlie Sheen stuff?

SB: Well. I mean, yeah it pretty funny but I also kind of feel bad for someone who is falling apart in public eye. It's a hard life. Some of the tweets an retweets and all that stuff is pretty entertaining. I haven't been paying too much attention to it to be honest.

Sarah Burke at Monster De Mayo in Squaw Valley 2010

FS: Do you have to plans to film this year or are you too busy?

SB: The original plan was to do more filming, but it hasn't worked out the way I wanted it to. I keep trying to, but hopefully I can do a podcast or something. That's really up in the air, it's already March, but who knows.

FS: Spring shoots or are you done after WSI?

SB: Roxy is talking about going to Norway in may. So if that works out I'd like togo do some riding with Torah. Then it's vacation time.

FS: Whereabouts?

SB: I'm going to go to Greece with Elsa. Very excited.

FS: What's in Greece exactly?

SB: I've never been. Island hopping. We shall see.

FS: Will campers still get to hang out with you over the summer?

SB: Heck yeah! One session at Momentum, the third session. Check the signup. We're going to have a lot of fun. And then hopefully just skiing for fun. Because I had a good time doing that last year.

FS: It's all about the fun.

SB: Definitely.

Link: Read Sarah's full profile from our Vol. 11 issue

FS: Have you visited TJ Schiller since he's on the mend too and down the road?

SB: I haven't, I've got to do that. He called a few days ago when he was cruising through. Good point. I'm going to hang with him. Learn about photography or something.

FS: Is photography a new passion of yours?

SB: I bought a new camera. But I haven't touched it. I don't know how to use it.

FS: Is there anything you want talk about? Or bring awareness to?

SB: I'm doing a triathlon for St. Judes Children Hospital on April 10th. I'll have some info on my Facebook and new web site which should be up this week.

FS: Shameless plug. What's the site?

SB: He hasn't told me yet. I don't know what it is… I should email him and ask him what it's called. Hopefully sarahburke.com [laughs]

FS: That would be appropriate.

 Sarah Burke