The International Olympic Committee is reportedly asking the US women’s hockey team to remove Statue of Liberty images from two goaltenders’ masks because they violate IOC policy against political symbols.
USA Hockey officials were in talks to resolve the matter ahead of the Americans’ faceoff today against the Olympic Athletes from Russia at Kwandong Hockey Centre, USA Today reported.
IOC guidelines on authorised identification say no item can have national anthem words or lyrics, motivation words, political messaging or slogans related to national identity.
Nicole Hensley, who helped the US women capture the past two world championships, has a large Statue of Liberty image painted on the left side of her mask. Alex Rigsby has one on the chin of her mask.
Neither has yet played for the Americans at Pyeongchang as Maddie Rooney backstopped the US women to a 3-1 victory over Finland in their tournament opener.
US men’s goalie Ryan Zapolski said he faced many restrctions when looking at helmet designs.
“There are a lot of restrictions on that. This year we could not do much,” Zapolski said.
“I talked to the guy who painted it and we brainstormed for about a week and he gave me a sketch, and I wanted a crest of the Stars and Stripes. It was pretty simple and goes well with our uniforms.”