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IOC tells ex-Gopher Raty to lose slogan on hockey helmet

  • Article by: news services
  • February 7, 2014 - 7:24 AM

On her Olympic mask, Finnish goaltender Noora Raty included the words “Hakkaa paalle,” which loosely translates to “Cut them down.” It is a battle cry with roots that date back four centuries, to the Thirty Years’ War, and it has become the national team mantra, something the players recite before every game.

After Finland’s practice Wednesday in Sochi, an official from the International Olympic Committee entered the team’s locker room for an equipment inspection and informed Raty that she would have to cover the phrase with tape because it is in violation of Rule 50, which prohibits any advertising, demonstration or propaganda on an athlete’s equipment at the Olympics.

“First they told me you can’t have something that says my country’s better than your country,” said Raty, 24, a three-time Olympian and a former Gophers standout. “But that really doesn’t say it. It’s just ‘cut them down,’ but then they decided no slogans or quotes.”

Finland opens play Saturday against the United States.

U.S. goaltender Jessie Vetter had her own equipment issues. She was told to remove text from the U.S. Constitution from her mask last month.

“It’s just a mask,” Raty said. “It won’t affect my game.”

Jamaicans hit the course

The Jamaican bobsled team got in its first two runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track on Thursday after its equipment arrived.

Driver Winston Watts said the team got its gear around midnight, enabling them to take part in the second day of “unofficial” training. It wasn’t until the Jamaicans got to the track that they realized their belongings had been tampered with. Watts said security opened containers of protein powder and the contents spilled out on his clothes and equipment.

He even got powder in his eyes after putting on his helmet.

Georgia delegation arrives

An 11-member delegation from Georgia touched down Thursday on just the second flight from Tbilisi to Sochi since Georgia and Russia fought a brief war in 2008.

“It’s a great joy for our athletes to come and participate,” Georgia’s Olympic committee president Leri Khabelov said after the short flight. “I think that relations are getting better.”

Yogurt stranded in U.S.

American athletes in Sochi are facing breakfast without their team-sponsoring Greek yogurt, thanks to a bureaucratic web of international trade negotiations.

Team USA sponsor Chobani, which is based in upstate New York, says it has 5,000 cups of Greek yogurt sitting in a refrigerated warehouse waiting to be flown to the Olympic village. But Russian authorities say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has refused to provide a certificate that is required for dairy products under its customs rules.

© 2014 Star Tribune