Rio Olympics 2016: Dressing for Gold

The Rio Olympics are fast approaching and the world is waiting in anticipation to see what uniform their teams will be sporting in. Here are our top five favourite gold medals worthy designs.

United Kingdom

The UK Olympic Committee has once again called on British designer, Stella McCartney to work her magic, collaborating with Adidas to create a winning style strategy for the UK team kit. The new Coat of arms is a predominant feature incorporated in every piece of kit, for all disciplines, as well as the traditional Union Jack colours: navy blue leggings, white jumpers, and hints of red in all the uniforms.

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There was no chance of anyone mistaking the kit for another country, as McCartney did not hold back on the national branding by including a large GB embroidered, printed and otherwise plastered all over. As for how the kit will help the athletes with their performance, the new synthetic fabric is 10% lighter than the one used for 2012 London Olympics!

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USA

After designing for the USA team five times already, since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Ralph Lauren returns once again to create yet another iconic uniform.

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The team look for the opening ceremony very much plays to the classic preppy Ralph Lauren aesthetic, with white shorts, button-down shirts, striped belts and signature Polo logo. Much like Great Britain’s design, the kit includes the large USA print on the back.

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“Everything is made in America,” Mr. Lauren said. “America should have a moment right now”.

138 - Number of steps to craft the opening and closing ceremony boat shoe

138 – Number of steps to craft the opening and closing ceremony boat shoe

The US Olympic committee also partnered up with major sports luxe brand, Nike in order to create great medal winning gear. In the count down to the games, Nike consulted with athletes and designers and tested its products in labs to provide the best performance results possible. And the result? Nike’s vice president, Martin Lotti, has used his research to create fabrics that are both flexible and performance enhancing. “It’s not about a uniform,” Lotti says. “It’s about a system of speed.” nike-team-usa-olympic-uniforms-2016-photos

France

French brand Lacoste is back again, designing for the French team! The company has sport heritage, as it was founded by Rene Lacoste, a tennis legends in the 20s, making it the perfect choice for the Olympics uniform design.

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Creative director of Lacoste, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, went for minimal designs; during the opening and closing ceremonies, France’s finest athletes will be wearing chic white rain resistant ponchos with hoods, navy blue trench coats and cropped, skinny white trousers. The Lactose crocodile is stitched in the French flag colours.

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The French uniform debut was to an audience at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris! 
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Canada

Twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten have been chosen to be the designers for the team Canada kit! Their Canadian label, Dsquared2, is an edgy mix of Canadian iconography and refined Italian tailoring.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - APRIL 12: Team Canada Athletes attend the Hudson's Bay Company Launch of the Team Canada Collection For Rio 2016 at the Art Gallery of Ontario on April 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by GP Images/WireImage)

Team Canada Athletes attend the Hudson’s Bay Company Launch of the Team Canada Collection For Rio 2016 at the Art Gallery of Ontario on April 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.

The brothers went for an athletic and urban, yet sophisticated look for the team’s uniform, combining active wear and everyday clothing, the Canadian maple leaf heavily featuring in all designs.

during the Canadian Olympic Committee Rio Uniform Launch in Toronto, April 12, 2016.

During the Canadian Olympic Committee Rio Uniform Launch in Toronto, April 12, 2016.

The collection consists of a range of tailored trousers, hoodies and backpacks, in predominantly black, white and red, but the main attraction are the over sized blazers, which include ribbed cuffs and a funky vertical zip pocket on the chest. The blazer was also designed with a windbreaker material!

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Jamaica

Jamaica has enlisted the help international sports brand PUMA for their track and field kits in order to put the team in the best position for gold.

Innovation was a key aspect of this Olympic gear as the aim, as it is every year, is to increase speed and the performance of the athlete. The kit is made from lightweight fabrics in order for the athletes to help with just that. It also has ACTV taping, giving muscle support, and seams that are bonded to ensure that the athletes compete in comfort.

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Many of the countries haven’t revealed their uniforms yet so it will be worth watching the opening ceremony on the 5th of August to see each nation and their proudly chosen uniforms.

Which team style is your favourite so far?


Text: Afua Aidoo

Images: Vogue, Getty Images, Ralph Lauren, Team USA, Sports illustrated, Huffington post

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