Reporter: Joseph LeBouthillier
The International Olympic Committee scolded some athletes, and their country’s Olympic Committee, for wearing anything that commemorates deceased athletes. If I were a part of the IOC, I’d have something to say about it.
IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, said athletes should find a better place to express their grief.
I guarantee that isn’t what he’d be saying if he were in some athletes’ positions. Athletes train for years just to get to the Olympics where, it seems, they can’t do anything they want to do without consulting the boss (IOC) first.
What is wrong with a sticker? Seriously, is it hurting anyone?
“We would say the competitions themselves, which are a place of celebration, are probably not the right place to really do that,” Adams said.
But you know, something good did come out of this. Canadian Roz Groenewoud is trying to find a way around the IOC’s incompetency. Initially, she had a sticker on her helmet that simply said “Sarah”, with a snowflake, the same snowflake Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke had tattooed on her ankle. Burke, who passed away on Jan. 19, 2012, nine days after a training accident in Utah, will always be remembered by her teammates. However, the IOC is clearly doing everything they can to prevent such a thing from happening.
All athletes should be able to express whatever they want on their helmets. They do own the helmets after all.
I only have one full suit that I wear to occasions such as weddings, funerals, professional meetings, etc., and I have two gold pins with a small black lace in the same form the Breast Cancer Society uses for awareness. The one on my right collar is to commemorate my great-grandmother. The one on the left commemorates my uncle Marvin. Soon I will have another one, as my grandfather on my mom’s side has Alzheimer’s and it’s spreading fast. Soon he won’t remember us, so if I put on another pin to remember him, will I get in trouble?
Only Adams and the IOC would say yes.
It seems the IOC cannot comprehend the simplicity of commemorating someone who you have respect and love for.
However, we can all be somewhat put at ease as Inge Andersen, the secretary general of the Norwegian Olympic Committee, is taking this issue to the IOC’s highest levels. He has someone in particular that he is fighting for. Sten Anders Jacobsen, the younger brother of one of Norway’s cross-country skiers, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, passed away “suddenly and unexpectedly” on Feb. 7.
Andersen said he wants to discuss why the IOC will not allow [Norway] to go through their grieving process as anyone normally would. He said something I’ll never forget, “We are all human beings. We have to take care of each other.”
It’s a lesson the IOC really needs to learn.