Dear Ms. Gibson:
In its public meeting of 16 February conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring hockey player and youth sports advocate Willie O’Ree. The Commission provided the following comments and recommendations.
Consistent with the preferences of Mr. O’Ree and his family, the Commission members recommended obverse alternative O-02, citing the dignified character of the portrait, and reverse alternative R-01. They commented that this pairing conveys his contributions as the first Black professional player in the National Hockey League and later as the league’s goodwill ambassador. They supported the family’s suggestion to resolve the duplication of inscriptions with this pairing by substituting the phrase “Hockey is for Everyone” along the outer edge of reverse R-01; they also supported the family’s suggestion to depict the hockey players in the background as children instead of professional adults, contributing to the commemoration of Mr. O’Ree’s longtime advocacy for children’s participation in the sport of hockey.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Ventris C. Gibson, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220