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Stamps commemorating past Canadian Olympic athletes Sandra Schmirler, Barbara Ann Scott and Sarah Burke are shown in a handout photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Post

With the Sochi Olympics just a few days away, Canada Post is launching commemorative stamps honouring freestyle skier Sarah Burke, curler Sandra Schmirler and figure skater Barbara Ann Scott.

The trio are being recognized as "pioneers of winter sports."

A native of Barrie, Ont., Burke won four gold medals at the Winter X Games and was the first female skier to land a 1,080-degree spin (three full rotations) in competition.

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Halfpipe skiing, an event that Burke helped put on the map, is set to make its Olympic debut in Sochi. She died in January 2012 at the age of 29 after succumbing to injuries suffered while training in Utah.

Schmirler skipped one of the most successful curling teams in Canadian history. The Biggar, Sask., native won three Canadian and three world championships between 1993 and 1997. In 1998, Schmirler and her team became Canada's first-ever Olympic gold medallists in curling.

A member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the World Curling Federation Hall of Fame, Schmirler died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 36.

Scott is the only Canadian woman to win Olympic gold for singles figure skating after her victory at the 1948 Winter Games. The Ottawa native also won world, North American and European championships.

Known as "Canada's Sweetheart," Scott was named to the Order of Canada and Canada's Walk of Fame. She died in September 2012 at the age of 84.

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