Lately, there's been a lot of talk on the hockey front in regard to concussions, and while this certainly is an important topic of discussion, there's something more pressing to discuss.
This week marked the passing of a living legend, a pioneer in her field, and an incredible athlete. Sarah Burke was just a year older than I, and her sudden and unfortunate death yesterday has sent shockwaves through Whistler, and the skiing community at large. Last week, she was put into a medically induced coma after a particularly horrific crash in Salt Lake City, UT, and though doctor's were able to contain the ruptured vertebral artery, there was irreversible damage done to her brain. Had she survived, there is no question that she wouldn't be the same.
Granted, the circumstances were exceptional, competing in an event by Monster Energy. Nonetheless, it highlights the importance of safety on the hill. Yet today, after just a couple of runs on Blackcomb, I noticed the continuation of a particularly scary trend.
WHAT THE HELL IS WITH PEOPLE NOT DOING THEIR HELMETS UP?!
Seriously. It's all these d-bags in the park who think they're invincible. I wear a helmet all the time, a Sandbox helmet with a small brim. One time I was riding from my house to the chair and the damn thing flew off. Like, just lifted off my head. I need that damn strap. Never mind that this season I have sustained both major whiplash and a minor concussion (separate events). And I was wearing my helmet.
Everyone, it seems, has a helmet on the hill; not everyone is keen to fasten the strap. It's exactly the same as a seatbelt: it's there for a reason. Why not just get rid of it altogether? Oh right. "Sponsorship" stickers. Look, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you aren't that good. And if you were, you'd be playing safe.
You don't do it up because you don't fall? Alright, fuck you. You aren't trying hard enough. And rails hurt like a sonovabitch when you hit it with your head.
Hopefully, Sarah's passing will raise a lot of concerns for skiers and snowboarders. I would love to see a helmet mandatory WB, and fines for incorrect use. But hey, that's just me.
So long, Sarah. This town has lost one of its heroes... again.