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IOC bans stickers honoring late skier Sarah Burke

Feb. 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM

SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee has banned helmet stickers honoring Sarah Burke, a Canadian skier who died in a training accident.

The IOC said the decision was based on a section of the Olympic Charter that bars competitors from wearing "publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise" on their equipment or clothing, the Toronto Star reported. But it has angered many athletes and others.

"I ride with a Sarah sticker on my snowboard and helmet always," Torah Bright, an Australian snowboarder, wrote in an Instagram post. "The IOC, however, consider Sarah stickers 'a political statement' and have banned them."

Burke, 29 when she was killed in Utah in 2012, was a freestyle skier who pioneered the superpipe, won four gold medals in freestyle in the Winter X Games and lobbied to include superpipe in the Olympics. She was considered a top contender for a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics.

Her father, Gord Burke of Midland, Ontario, told the Midland Mirror stickers are not important.

"I'm looking at the big picture," he said. "To me it isn't that big a deal. I know there are thousands and thousands of people who always cared about Sarah, and so that is what is important to remember."

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