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IOC Rules Force Vetter to Change U.S. Olympic Mask

IOC Rules Force Vetter to Change U.S. Olympic Mask
The Declaration of Independence and last name were both removed form Jessie Vetter's U.S. Olympic mask.

The start of the constitution and last name were both removed from Jessie Vetter’s U.S. Olympic mask.

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 Choicecontrasted with some of the original paint from artist Ron Slater.  (Media requests about the mask can contact Pro’s Choice at: [email protected])

Jessie Vetter’s backplate before:

Jessie Vetter 2014 U.S. Olympic mask backplate

… and now, after the IOC-mandated changes:

Jessie Vetter US Olympic Mask Take 2 backplate

The chin before the changes:

Jessie Vetter 2014 U.S. Olympic mask front

… and after:

Jessie Vetter US Olympic Mask Take 2 chin

Fortunately the sides remained unchanged, including the real gold used on the USA crest on the right:

Jessie Vetter US Olympic Mask Take 2 right side

Jessie Vetter US Olympic Mask Take 2 left side

About The Author

Kevin Woodley

Kevin Woodley is a rec-league target and former contributing editor of the Goalie News magazine. He has written about the Vancouver Canucks and NHL for The Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News for the last decade, and covered the 2010 Olympics for The AP.


  1. paul szabo

    This is the dumbest PC thing I have ever heard. To what lengths will the IOC go in controlling everything about the games? We can plaster the sites with McDonald’s and Coca Cola but goalies cant put an inscription on the back of their mask? Which is more crass? Go figure…

  2. Francois Lemay

    Rules are rules! And that goes for everyone.

    • Blisster

      I guess Francois didn’t quite read the part about US Hockey Goalie Ryan Miller being able to KEEP his Olympic rings on his in 2010…?

  3. george

    It is not like they don’t get a list of the rules each time.
    Smarter play to save time and money would have been to submit before painting.
    “ME thinks you doth protest to much”

    • paul szabo

      I believe the Olympic rings can’t be used because they are a trademarked symbol. And of course only those companies or advertisers who have paid the appropriate fees may have the the privilege of displaying them. Heaven forbid that we should actually let the ATHLETES in the actual games themselves wear them. I mean, let’s get our priorities straight…

      • raditzzzz

        Do all the swim athletes have to get their Olympic ring tattoos removed too?

        • Blisster

          Just wait, that will be next. They’ll have to have them covered.

        • mjl

          Haha. Exactly!

      • Blisster

        Bravo! Well said…

  4. Joe DL

    I don’t understand why they had to paint over the Olympic Rings on the chin?

  5. Greg B

    The IOC goes too far. It’s not boastful to have imagery of your country painted on a mask, it’s called having pride. Why not just set a single language that can be spoken in the Olympic village? Surely it is just as much of an issue to speak your own language.At this rate the IOC will start handing out participation awards too.

  6. dsm

    Our country is better than your country. Reality is tough sometimes.

    Eat it IOC, International Ice Socialists.

  7. jim

    Does the point about a goalies name on the mask being self promotion mean that the jerseys worn by the teams will not have player names, just players number?

  8. Rich

    Again, more World gubment BS. Yes, the USA is FREE and BETTER than all other countries and everyone knows it. This is just more PC to make others feel better.

  9. Kevin Woodley

    Wanted to make one thing clear: neither Vetter nor her painter were complaining about having to make changes. We’re just reporting that they had to make the changes and why. Rules are laid out in advance (Ron didn’t get them before painting and submitted his original sketches for approval first, which he got) but per the Statue of Liberty vs constitution vs Slovakia national anthem on the jersey, there is interpretation on everything except her last name and the Olympic rings.

  10. Jball

    How about a middle finger or a nazi symbol? Rules are rules and ALL countries have to follow them.

    • paul szabo

      Jball: maybe I misunderstand your comment, but I think you contradict your own self. The nonsense in the IOC rules is that in theory, you COULD put a swastika on your mask or a middle finger for that matter. But you would be banned from writing Heil Hitler or F*** you because it is WRITTEN slogans they are taking issue with

      • Jball

        Let the Olympians play hockey in its purity and leave out all the political symbols and pictures. This isn’t a contest on who’s countries political beliefs are better than the others. It’s HOCKEY…plain and simple. May the best team win.

        • paul szabo

          I agree with this 100%, but only wish that the same measure could be applied to the CORPORATE symbols and pictures. These I find much more invasive and offensive than the national symbols…

  11. Connor B.

    This is down right disgraceful, what do they want a bottle on coke or a big mac on the mask, just so they make more fucking money. I hope Miller and Quick put the pledge of allegiance or our national anthem. If i was her i would write the whole constitution out and mail to the IOC

  12. DSM

    Something tells me if the had the UN Commission Charter on her backplate they’d allow it.

  13. Reed

    This is traitorous. Hang them.

  14. Dan

    They did not do a repaint of this mask. A friend of mine from Minneapolis does “wraps” for goalie masks (he did my son’s college team wrap for his mask) and was contacted by the team trainer to make one for the back plate and to cover the Olympic rings, so that’s what he did and sent it back to the team.

  15. Whatsamatter

    In the Atlanta summer Olympics, the opening ceremony had chrome Chevy pickup trucks running around the infield. At that time both Ford and Chevy STAMPED their names on the metal of the tailgates.

    The Olympic gods decreed that this was commercial-ism, and the tailgates were removed, leaving the flagbearers in the pickup bed without any safety stop if they lost their footing.

    Ironically GM got more free advertising out the Olympic decision, than they would ever have gotten out of leaving the tailgates on the pickups..

  16. Katy

    The goalies are allowed to put a symbol of their country on their helmet as long as it has no text. But why no text? The phrase “We the people” will not cause any disruption of the game, not will any player stop to read the back of her helmet. I understand there are rules, but being that I am a goalie as well I think that they should realize that the phrase is not inappropriate and will not cause any harm.

  17. zack zubkus

    stupid. i cant believe this. no nicknames. no usa logos, either? c’mon.

    • Katy

      I know right? What will her name hurt? It will be on her jersey.

  18. James

    I love how they want a national team mask to be about the team and not the individual, but not overly patriotic.


    It’s a NATIONAL TEAM folks….

  19. Scott A

    GO USA!!! The IOC is a bunch of out of touch stuffed shirts who apparently believe rules only appy to certain countries. Slovakia’s hockey jersey use the words of their national anthem to create the jersey stripes. What great idea and what a great form of patriotism.Yet, the US goalie being equally patriotic is forced to remove words from our consitution? The Olympics are about patriotism and different cultures coming together full of national pride not flaunting- just being proud! What is ironic is that brand logos of any sort used to be what was forbidden- not patriotism. Seems to me the IOC has sold their sole…

  20. andrew brown

    nationalism is fascism is imperialism