Sweden's Valentina Wallner ordered to cover Olympics helmet tribute

SOCHI, Russia -- Swedish women's hockey goaltender Valentina Wallner has been told she can't display a picture of her late mentor and compatriot Stefan Liv on the helmet she will wear during the tournament here.

She had the portrait added to honor Liv, who died in the plane crash that killed the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in September 2011. However, she told the Olympic News Service, the International Olympic Committee won’t permit her to display it.

"I knew it was not allowed to have a political message or something like that, but the portrait of a friend and an Olympic player -- I think it's a ridiculous decision," she said. "Stefan was my role model, and I loved the man and the human being he was.

"To me it felt very proper to honor Stefan Liv as a person, a friend and an Olympic ice hockey player with a portrait of him on my helmet. But I guess I have to abide with the rules, so I put tape over the picture."

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helene.elliott@latimes.com

Twitter: @helenenothelen