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Late freestyle skier Sarah Burke honoured on Flag Day

Sarah Burke on Jan. 21, 2009, in Aspen, Col. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Nathan Bilow

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Sarah Burke on Jan. 21, 2009, in Aspen, Col. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Nathan Bilow

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the family of late freestyle skier Sarah Burke will be presented with a flag from the Peace Tower in honour of Flag Day.

To celebrate National Flag of Canada Day, each year the Peace Tower flag is presented to a Canadian who has exemplified Canadian values.

Calling Burke a gifted athlete, and a trailblazer in freestyle skiing, Harper says she is one of the principal reasons why the halfpipe was introduced as an Olympic sport this year in Sochi, Russia.

Harper says the Peace Tower flag will go Burke's parents Gordon Burke and Jan Phelan, and her widower Rory Bushfield.

Burke died after a training accident in January 2012 at the age of 29.

Feb. 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996.

Burke was "a great Canadian whose efforts have had a remarkable impact on the world of sport, and whose story has touched the nation," Harper said.

"Her legacy will live on in the many athletes who take up the sport she so championed."

"At no time is national pride in our flag more evident than during the Olympic Games, and it is certainly on prominent display in Sochi over so many podiums and around so many of our magnificent athletes," Harper said Saturday in a release.

"We could not be more proud."

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