Images of the outfit the U.S. Olympic team will wear next month were released early Thursday morning. Soon after, the pictures were showing up around the Minnesota Wild locker room.
Wild forward and USA Hockey member Zach Parise was one of the models for the U.S. Olympic wear. One of the more striking pictures is Parise standing tall in the sweater the athletes will wear for the opening and closing ceremonies in Sochi, Russia for the Olympics.
Of course, his teammates were ready to have a little fun at his expense.
"There was a couple of 8x10s hidden around the room," Parise said.
Parise, who will make his return to the Wild on Thursday night after missing 14 games, took the good-natured ribbing in stride though.
When asked about the pictures, Parise smiled and responded: "We had a lot of requests in the locker room, a lot of guys wanted to get that sweater."
Parise and Wild teammate Ryan Suter are both members of the U.S. men’s hockey team, but actually won’t get the chance to wear the sweaters, which feature a busy mix of designs, because they won’t participate in the opening or closing ceremonies.
"We definitely get there too late for the opening ceremonies and then we leave too early for the closing ceremonies, so we never get to wear that stuff," Parise said. But for Parise, "the picture’s there."