01/20/2012 04:00 EST | Updated 03/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Sarah Burke Dead: Donations Flood In For Fallen Freestyle Skier (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Donations have been pouring in on behalf of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke who died Thursday at the age of 29 in a Utah hospital.

A fundraising website has been set up by Burke's family for the skier's medical costs and related expenses.

Burke crashed Jan. 10 in Park City, Utah, while training in a halfpipe. The Olympic gold-medal hopeful and four-time Winter X Games champion tore one of the major arteries supplying blood to her brain and went into cardiac arrest.

She underwent surgery and spent nine days on life support at the University of Utah Hospital. But Burke had suffered irreversible brain damage after the fall because of lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.

The website originally set up at was organized by her agent, Michael Spencer and has marked a goal for $550,000. Her husband Rory Bushfield, a fellow skier from Alberta whom she married in 2010, is listed as the beneficiary.

Burke, who was born in Barrie, Ont., and grew up in nearby Midland, was considered a pioneer in her sport. She lobbied to add superpipe skiing to the Winter Games program and her arguments won over Olympic officials.

The discipline will debut in two years in Russia, where Burke likely would have been a favourite for the gold medal.

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.


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