American Patrick Deneen skis to a fourth-place finish in the 2010 men's moguls freestyle World Cup at Cypress mountain in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Mogul skiers aim to traverse the bumpy slope as quickly as possible while performing two jumps on the way down. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/AP
Canada's Christopher Delbosco (wearing red), leads Conradign Netzer, (l.) of Switzerland, Hiroomi Takizawa, (r.) of Japan, and Egor Korotkov of Russia, in a recent ski cross World Cup. The sport will make its Olympic debut at the Vancouver Games. Mike Groll/AP
Seven-time World Cup winner Jeret Peterson, shown here at a press conference in Park City, UT, aims to win his first Olympic medal in Vancouver. Colin E. Braley/AP
Aerialist Ryan St. Onge won World Championships last year after moving to Lake Placid to train with a coach from the former Soviet Union. St. Onge, pictured in front of the pool he practices in during the summer, has been refining a quintuple-twisting triple back somersault (3 flips with 5 twists) to unleash in Vancouver. Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor
US moguls skier Hannah Kearney celebrates a World Cup win earlier this season. A teen sensation, Kearney won her first World Cup at age 17. She wanted to use her earnings to buy a mule, but after her mom discouraged her, she decided – on her own accord – to open an IRA account instead. Mike Groll/AP
Han Xiaopeng, shown here at the 2007 Asian Winter Games, is one of China’s most talented aerialists. Through a well-funded state program, China has retrained many of its accomplished gymnasts to perform on skis. The Chinese Olympic freestyle team is expected to be very strong in 2010. Nir Elias/Reuters
Canadian women have been dominating the World Cup in ski cross, the newest Olympic sport. At a recent event, Kelsey Serwa (second from right) won gold and Ashleigh Mclvor (left) placed fourth. Together with Julia Murray, they occupy three of the top five slots on the circuit, led by former alpine skier Ophelie David of France (right). Mike Groll/AP
American Ryan St. Onge, the junior world champion in 2000, practices an aerial routine at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. His home away from home, the state proved less than friendly when he missed a notice about his car insurance while competing in Europe and hasn't been able to drive in NY since. Mike Groll/AP
Ski cross racers competing in a qualifying heat at the 2010 World Cup freestyle skiing competition in Wilmington, NY. In ski cross, a newly recognized Olympic sport, four racers compete against each other down a motocross-style course. Mike Groll/AP
French mogul skier Guilbaut Colas performs one of two aerials during his first run at the men’s moguls qualifying race at the 2010 World Cup freestyle skiing event. Colas has been ranked second in the world for the past three years. Mike Groll/AP
Reigning Olympic champion Dale Begg-Smith competes at the 2010 World Cup freestyle skiing event in Wilmington, N.Y. Originally from Vancouver, Begg-Smith followed his coach to Australia, gained citizenship, and began competing for his adopted country. Mike Groll/AP
Christian Haechler, of Switzerland, practices floating through the air in Lake Placid, N.Y., host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games. The town of 3,000 is one of a handful in the US that have venues for the more European Winter Olympic sports, including luge, bobsled, skeleton, and ski jumping. Mike Groll/AP
Ahead of the 2014 Olympic games, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke died on Thursday from injuries sustained in a training accident in Utah last week, a family spokeswoman said.
ByDan Whitcomb, Reuters
Top Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, seen as an early Olympic gold medal favorite ahead of the 2014 games, died on Thursday from injuries sustained in a training accident in Utah last week, a family spokeswoman said.