to wear kirpan at Vancouver 2010 Olympics
Blade not more than four inches
Sheath may not exceed 7.5 inches
Vancouver, Oct. 16, 2009
The Vancouver RCMP Security Unit for 2010 Vancouver Olympic
games, announced Thursday that Sikhs will be permitted to wear
ceremonial kirpan (dagger) to Vancouver
2010 Winter Games venues.
To ease access to 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games
events for those adhering to Sikh religious tenets, the Vancouver
2010 Integrated Security Unit (V2010 ISU) has developed guidelines
that enable the wearing of the kirpan as an article of faith for
initiated or Amritdhari Sikhs.
The new guidelines were developed in consultation with representatives
of the Sikh community to ensure those who carry the kirpan as
part of their religious practice are able to attend Olympic and
Maintaining the security and safety of Games venues, participants,
personnel, and spectators is paramount. The new guidelines provide
reasonable accommodation for religious freedoms as defined by
Canadian laws and values, while clearly identifying the conditions
under which the kirpan may be worn. Research conducted by the
Integrated Security Unit indicates there are very few examples
of a kirpan being used as a weapon ensuring it is reasonable to
expect no additional risk at the venues.
To ensure the screening process runs smoothly, the new
guidelines require anyone wearing a kirpan to inform
security personnel prior to being screened at venues, and to meet
the following stipulations:
1.All articles of faith must be worn.
2.The maximum TOTAL length of the kirpan, including the sheath
may not exceed 7.5 inches with a blade of not more than four inches
and a handle of two inches or less.
3.The kirpan must be worn in keeping with Sikh traditions including
being secured into its sheath, attached to a fabric belt and worn
across the torso.
4.The kirpan must be worn under clothing and not easily accessible.
If these stipulations are not met, the V2010 ISU reserves the
right to refuse admittance.
In the more than 100 years that Sikhs have been in Canada, a
kirpan has never been used as a weapon in school or in public
The kirpan must be worn with all five Sikh articles of faith,
including uncut hair, a wooden comb to secure the hair often worn
in combination with a turban, an iron bracelet and a cotton singlet.