IOC Bans Sarah Burke Memorial Stickers
Olympic Charter considers tribute propaganda
Athletes competing in Sochi who honor the late Sarah Burke with stickers on their equipment will have to remove such memorials during competition, the International Olympic Committee told reporters on Monday.
Australian snowboarder Torah Bright posted on social media that the IOC denied her request to wear her sticker during the Games. “I ride with a Sarah sticker on my snowboard and helmet always,” Torah Bright posted on Instagram. “The IOC, however, consider Sarah stickers ‘a political statement’ and have banned them.”
The International Olympic Committee argues that such displays conflict with Olympic Charter bylaws prohibiting any “form of publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise,” excluding manufacturers.
“On Sarah Burke, we have, as with a lot of the athletes here, huge sympathy,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters. “We would say the competitions themselves, which are a place of celebration, are probably not the right place to really do that.”
Before passing away after a training accident in January 2012, Burke had lobbied the IOC to include all freeskiing disciplines for women in the Winter Olympics. “She is a big reason why skier pipe/slope are now Olympic events,” Bright wrote on Instagram.