IOC Denies U.S. Goalie's Patriotic Mask

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U.S. hockey goalie Jessie Vetter wanted her Olympic mask to be as patriotic as possible, but the International Olympic Committee required her to remove words from the Constitution and her own name.

“No writings of any kind to promote the country is allowed,” designer Ron Slater told InGoal Magazine. “A sort of ‘our country is better than your country” kind of thing that the IOC frowns upon. Her name had to come off because they see it as self-promotion. They wanted everything to be team based. … Our original idea was ‘land of the free, home of the brave,’ and that would have had to have been removed as well.”

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The specific rule in the Olympic Charter says:

No form of publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise, may appear on persons, on sportswear, accessories or, more generally, on any article of clothing or equipment whatsoever worn or used by the athletes or other participants in the Olympic Games, except for the identification – as defined in paragraph 8 below – of the manufacturer of the article or equipment concerned, provided that such identification shall not be marked conspicuously for advertising purposes.

The IOC made no objection to the real 23 karat gold leafing on the helmet, however.

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Vetter, who started the 2010 Olympic gold-medal game, is not the first goalie to have to change her mask to adhere to the rule: In 2010, U.S. goalie Ryan Miller had to remove the words, “Miller Time,” and goalie Jonathan Quick was told to erase “Support Our Troops.”

Photo: Courtesy Pros Choice