The IOC decides “Sarah” stickers are political propaganda, ban them from the Games. We call bullshit.

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With the Opening Ceremony over and done with, the real world, and the real state of Sochi has once again taken center stage. For those of you who have been enjoying the ever-entertaining @SochiProblems Twitter account, you already have an idea of some of the absurd issues people are having in Sochi. Today, Torah Bright shed light on yet another one— this one not as much humorous as it is embarrassing for those in charge. As Torah explains via a post on her Instagram:

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 1.33.04 PM“Tonight marks the beginning of the 2014 Olympic Games. I am at these Olympics for multiple reason. 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 honor my great friend Sarah Burke who left this world two years ago. I ride with a Sarah sticker on my snowboard and helmet always. The IOC however, consider Sarah stickers “a political statement” and have banned them. WOW. Sarah is a beautiful, talented, powerful women, who’s spirit inspires me still. She is a big reason why skier pipe/slope are now Olympic events…”

To snowboarders and skiers alike, Sarah Burke was and continues to be nothing short of an inspiration. Sarah was a trail-blazer, a beloved member of the freeskiing community who fought tooth and nail to earn her sport the respect and attention it deserved. Sarah’s efforts paid off, as can be gleaned from the fact that both slopestyle and halfpipe skiing are now Olympic sports, recognized and respected on a global scale.

After her tragic passing, the snowboarding and skiing communities found a way to continuously remind the world of Sarah’s impact, and to keep her memory alive, creating “Celebrate Sarah” stickers that can be found plastered on boards, skis & helmets across both industries. Now, as the very event Sarah fought so hard to be included in is going down in Sochi, those stickers have been banned by the IOC. Apparently, honoring someone’s memory is now a “political statement,” and one unfit to deface the precious facade of the Olympic Games.

Political statement? We’re sorry, but it seems to us that the one ‘statement’ Sarah put so much time and energy into making was that her sport deserved global recognition, which it is receiving, at this moment, as skiers walk alongside their countrymen in the Opening Ceremony; as they prep to compete against an international field in the days to come. It seems that now is the time, more than ever before, to celebrate Sarah Burke and the role she played in getting these talented athletes the support and appreciation they have long deserved.

If you want to talk political statements, IOC, take a look at those being made by Putin — the vicious anti-gay sentiments that have been shamelessly expressed for months, or, perhaps it’s time to fully address the fact that terrorist threats have been plaguing the Games since day one.

Now these are political issues that should be more adequately addressed by a committee that seeks to host on a safe, peaceful, international gathering. The IOC banning stickers that celebrate the life of a woman who was a dear friend and role-model to riders around the world simply highlights the short-comings and embarrassing ignorance that are beginning to define the 2014 Winter Games.

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