For most goalies, a custom mask design is one of the best parts about owning your own gear.
For two USA Women’s Olympic goalies, the opportunity to show off their custom mask artwork may not last for long.
Why would the USA Women’s Goalies not be allowed to wear their masks?
According to an article posted by the USA Today, use of the Statue of Liberty may not mesh with IOC policy.
Why would they have to cover up the Statue of Liberty? It’s because, “The IOC views the image as a possible violation of its policy against political symbols.”.
According to @headstronggrafx in a now deleted Instagram post, masks he painted for several goalies on the team USA Men’s Olympic team were actually sent back for changes due to features that were deemed “political in nature”. The original mask mock ups he had sent for approval featured both the Statue of Liberty as well as “Land of the free, home of the brave”.
We covered the gear (and masks) to be worn by Olympic Goalies extensively, however for those who missed the article here are the masks in question.
Nicole Hensley’s Team USA Olympic Mask
Painted by Artist Sylabrush, the mask is in question due to a graphic on the left cheek side, clearly visible in this Instagram photo.
Alex Rigsby’s Mask
Rigsby does not mention her mask painter in an Instagram post, however in the third photo here we can see the Statue of Liberty displayed on the chin area.
For the goalies in the games, worrying about their mask paintings is most likely the last of their concerns. However, for the goalie fanatics watching from the sidelines, I think we can all agree we’d love to be able to see these worn in game play.
Are they goalies wearing the masks?
As it stands right now, apparently, yes. Nicole Hensley, one of the goalies who’s mask was in question, did play this morning wearing her mask that features the Statue of Liberty on the left cheek side.
The Saga Is Over: Team USA Women’s Goalies Can Wear Their Masks
Again confirmed by USA Today, the team USA Women’s Olympic goalies will wear their masks un-altered for the remainder of the games.
“Before the game, the IOC ruled that the masks could remain as is with no modifications. Hensley’s Statue of Liberty image is on the left side of her mask, and Rigsby’s is on her chin.”
Had the masks been an issue, they likely would’ve been simply covered up by tape. According to the article posted by the USA Today, head coach Rob Stauber was not aware of the mask controversy happening off the ice.