The American women’s hockey team is definitely one of the favorites to medal in the Olympic tournament (along with Canada, of course). However, the team is already embroiled in a mini controversy. No, it’s not drug testing or anything like that. The problem is that the helmets of goaltenders Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby feature an image of the Statue of Liberty, something the International Olympic Committee might declare is a “political symbol.”
According to USA Today, the IOC and USA Hockey are involved in “ongoing” discussions about whether the helmets violate an Olympic rule than bans political symbols from being worn by any athlete. A third goalie on the team, Maddie Rooney, does not have the Statue of Liberty on her cage.
Here is Hensley’s helmet:
Rigsby’s artwork features a smaller version of Lady Liberty near her chin, styled like a postage stamp.
The IOC guidelines state that “no item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.”
Apparently someone thinks the Statue of Liberty might violate those rules.
USA Today has reported an update to their original story, and the IOC has decided to allow the Statue of Liberty images to remain on the helmets of the American goalies.