INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) - IOC President Jacques Rogge expressed sadness Friday over the death of Sarah Burke, but said freestyle skiing is no more dangerous than other winter sports.
A four-time Winter X Games champion from Canada, Burke died Thursday after a crash on Jan. 10 during halfpipe training in Park City, Utah. She was 29.
"It was with enormous sadness that I learned of the death of Sarah Burke," Rogge said. "She was a fine athlete doing the sport she loved. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time."
Burke played a major role in having superpipe skiing added to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Burke would have been a favorite for the gold medal.
Rogge said there are "always risks attached to sport." However, he added that "thorough research has shown that freestyle skiing is no more dangerous than many of the other winter sports."
A moment of silence for Burke was observed Thursday night before Canada's women's soccer team played Haiti in an Olympic qualifying match in Vancouver.
A fundraising website has been set up by Burke's family for medical and related expenses. The website www.giveforward.com/sarahburke was organized by her agent, Michael Spencer, with a goal of $550,000.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)