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Ice Hockey: Statue of Liberty image cleared for U.S. helmets

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) – Two U.S. goaltenders are free to take to the ice on Tuesday with photographs of the Statue of Liberty on their helmets after a misunderstanding about whether or not they violated an Olympic ban on political symbols.

USA Hockey and the International Olympic Committee mentioned the helmets worn by Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby don’t require alterations.

“Masks are approved,” USA Hockey spokeswoman Andrea Mazzarelli mentioned in an electronic mail. “No modifications needed.”

An IOC spokesman mentioned: “It seems to have been a misunderstanding, we have not asked for the symbol to be removed.”

Feb 5, 2018; Gangneung, KOR; USA goalie Alex Rigsby (33) appears on throughout a coaching session for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

It was not clear whether or not both Hensley or Rigsby will play in Tuesday’s preliminary spherical recreation between the U.S. and the Olympic Athletes from Russia. U.S. head coach Robb Stauber has not but named his beginning netminder.

Maddie Rooney began Sunday’s opener towards Finland, which the U.S. received Three-1.

Ice Hockey – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Women’s Training – Kwandong Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea – February 10, 2018 – Team USA’s goaltender Nicole Hensley. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

IOC guidelines state that “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”.

It is just not the primary time a query has been raised about symbols on a U.S. goaltender’s masks. At the 2010 Vancouver Games American males’s goalie Ryan Miller was required to cowl up the phrases “Miller Time” on his masks.

The phrase “It’s Miller Time” is a trademark of MillerCoors, a unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co, and has lengthy been used to advertise the Miller High Life and Miller Lite beer manufacturers.

Additional reporting by Karolos Grohman, modifying by Ed Osmond

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