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Sarah Burke’s ashes spread at Olympic course: Did IOC approve of latest tribute?

Another Sarah Burke tribute
Another Sarah Burke tribute Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The late Sarah Burke helped make a big difference in the Sochi Winter Olympics. The skier was remembered in the women’s freeskiing halfpipe competition on Thursday by competitors. Small tributes have been seen on the course in her memory. Fingernail art, gestures to the sky and other emotional moments have been captured by the media. On Saturday For the Win reported that some of Sarah Burke’s ashes were spread on the halfpipe course in the latest tribute to the athlete.

Did the International Olympic Committee approve of this decision?

The skiers and the IOC have battled over the idea of any tribute to Sarah Burke within the competition aspects of the event. Stickers has to be removed from equipment as it didn't follow rules set forth by the governing body. Then skiers tried to wear armbands in Burke’s honor, but wasn't able to get approval from the IOC for that either.

It is hard to believe that the OIC would have approved putting an athlete's ashes on a professional course either. The governing body has offered to help the athletes remember Sarah Burke and have offered appropriate ways they would be able to do that, but this idea probably wasn't at the top of list.

Is scattering ashes of an individual at an international event appropriate?

It’s a matter of opinion on how this idea of spreading ashes at the Olympics is appropriate. It’s pretty obvious that Sarah Burke was special to many athletes. However to make the Sochi Olympics halfpipe course the place to do this in the quiet manner and then tell everyone afterwards to possible skirt the IOC rules doesn't seem right either.