The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Meritorious Service Decorations (civilian division)

Sarah Jean Burke, M.S.C.

Squamish British Columbia, [Canada]

Meritorious Service Cross

Decoration awarded on May 22, 2014

Sarah Burke was a leading pioneer in women’s freestyle skiing and lobbied tirelessly for years to have women included in all major freestyle ski competitions. A four-time Winter X Games champion in the women’s superpipe skiing event, she was the driving force behind a successful campaign to get women’s ski half-pipe recognized as an Olympic discipline. She died tragically on January 19, 2012, following a training accident, and sadly didn’t live to see her dream realized when women’s ski half-pipe and ski slopestyle were introduced at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. Ms. Burke was a role model to young athletes and continues to inspire women to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams.