Olympic gold medalist Sarah Burke died Thursday, after sustaining a tragic head injury nine days ago. The 29-year-old Canadian ski champion was a four-time superpipe Winter X Games winner and was seen as a front runner for the next Winter Olympics.

Burke suffered severe injuries last Tuesday after crashing in a practice run on the halfpipe ramp at the Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Surgeons said Burke had torn her vertebral artery, causing massive bleeding. She was put into an induced coma following the accident after suffering cardiac arrest and loss of oxygen to her brain.

The pro skiier's accident has sparked a debate about the dangers of freestyle skiing and other winter sports. Burke is not the first to have suffered life-threatening injuries from a winter sport. Among others, snowboarder Kevin Pearce also sustained head injuries while training for the 2010 Winter Games.

Many athletes' lives have been taken too soon from tragic sports accidents. Take a look at seven other athletes who had life-ending accidents in their sport.