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13 Feb, 2018 13:28

IOC allows Statue of Liberty on USA hockey helmets; Russian symbols still banned

IOC allows Statue of Liberty on USA hockey helmets; Russian symbols still banned

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will allow The US Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey goaltenders to wear helmets depicting the Statue of Liberty, despite concerns that they may violate IOC rules on national symbols.

Goalies Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby both have custom-made masks for the ongoing PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games emblazoned with the image of the iconic statue in New York Harbor.

Hensley’s Lady Liberty is on the left side of her helmet; Rigsby opted for a stamp depicting the statue on the chin. The iconic statue is accompanied by other garish designs including a USA crest on the top, a drawing of the famous V-J Day kiss photograph in Times Square, and a bald eagle — the national symbol of the USA.

Under the IOC’s Guidelines Regarding Authorized Identifications, no item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.

Despite reports that USA Hockey and the IOC were in discussions over whether the designs would be in violation of the rules, the IOC later tweeted to deny claims they had requested their removal.

“On the Team USA hockey helmet ‘story’ — there seems to have been a misunderstanding; we have not asked for the symbol to be removed,” the IOC account tweeted.

Team USA continues its preliminary-round schedule against the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) at Kwandong Hockey Centre on Tuesday. Russian symbols were banned altogether from PyeongChang 2018 due to allegations of state-sponsored doping in the country.

READ MORE: Taking Liberties: USA hockey goalies may be forced to remove statue masks