The good news is the real gold can stay on Jessie Vetter’s new mask for the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Unfortunately, the image of the United States constitution had to go, along with her name.
Those were among the biggest changes to Vetter’s new Vaughn Custom Pro’s Choice mask, which debuted on InGoal just last week, as mandated by International Olympic Committee rules. Artist Ron Slater of Slater Lettering and Graphics was also forced to repaint the chin of Vetter’s mask, removing Olympic rings similar to the ones Ryan Miller wore on his chin without a problem at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (Miller did have to remove his long-time “Miller Time” tag line from the backplate, however).
“No writings of any kind to promote the country is allowed,” Slater explained in an email to InGoal. “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.”
At least Vetter and Slater got to keep the USA logo on the left side of the mask, which was made with real 23 karat gold leaf embossing. If that logo had been an official USA Hockey logo, it too would have been removed. But because it is the logo the American men’s and women’s teams will wear on their jerseys at the Sochi Games (which also can’t be an official USA Hockey logo), it got to stay. So too did the Statue of Liberty on the forehead, which along with he eagle on the right side maintains a patriotic feel of a still great looking lid.
Below are photos of the assembled new mask, courtesy of it’s makers at Pro’s Choice, contrasted with some of the original paint from artist Ron Slater. (Media requests about the mask can contact Pro’s Choice at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jessie Vetter’s backplate before:
… and now, after the IOC-mandated changes:
The chin before the changes:
… and after:
Fortunately the sides remained unchanged, including the real gold used on the USA crest on the right: