It appears athletes competing at the Olympics in Sochi won’t be able to honour Sarah Burke, the Canadian halfpipe skier who died after a crash in training two years ago.
Australian snowboarder Torah Bright revealed in an Instagram post Friday the IOC has banned competitors from wearing stickers that commemorate Burke on their gear.
“I am at these Olympics for multiple reasons. Firstly, to represent my country and share with the world the sport which has blessed my life with beauty and joy. I am also here to honour my great friend Sarah Burke, who left this world two years ago,” Bright wrote.
“I ride with a Sarah sticker on my snowboard and helmet — always. The IOC however, considers Sarah stickers ‘a political statement’ and have banned them. WOW.
“Sarah is a beautiful, talented, powerful woman whose spirit inspires me still. She is a big reason why skiing pipe/slope are now Olympic events.”
A sticker ban would affect several athletes, including a number of Canadians who have worn them regularly since Burke’s death.
Canadian halfpipe skier Roz Groenewoud is among them.
“I’m exploring how to keep how I connect to her competing still alive at the Olympics, within the Olympic rules and guidelines,” she told the Canadian Press.
Groenewoud and several teammates also wear snowflake pendants in honour of Burke.
Burke, who succumbed to her injuries in January 2012 at the age of 29, won four X Games medals and was a key figure in establishing halfpipe skiing as competitive sport. It makes its Olympic debut in Sochi.