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Olympic Uniforms for the 2012 Opening Ceremonies

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When the London Olympics open on July 27th, the Parade of Nations will be our introduction to the 2012 athletes. What each team wears to the Opening Ceremonies is the stuff of much conjecture, drama, pride, gossip, and criticism. Let's see what some of the teams will be wearing.

Ralph Lauren

Yesterday, Ralph Lauren unveiled the U.S. team uniforms for the Opening Ceremonies. They look quite traditional and patriotic, but the oversized Polo logo screams "prep school." And then there's the beret, which has American fashion critics howling. But the biggest part of the upset over these uniforms is the fact that they were manufactured in China.

The Opening Ceremony uniforms for the Australian team were unveiled May 3rd during Sydney Fashion Week. The suits were designed by Sportscraft with shoes by Volley. The athletes say the clothing is very comfortable, which is important as they will be wearing them for at least seven hours on July 27th. The Australian athletic uniforms were designed by Adidas; you can see them in a video presentation.


Stella McCartney (daughter of Sir Paul) designed the British athletic uniforms for Adidas and came under fire for rendering the Union Jack in blue and blue instead of blue and red. However, they look pretty tame compared to the uniforms the volunteer "ambassadors" will wear during the games. In stark contrast, the uniform by Next that Great Britain's athletes will wear to the Opening Ceremonies is quite sedate.


The colorful yet slightly military Jamaican uniforms were designed by Cedella Marley, daughter of the late Bob Marley, in cooperation with Puma.


Giorgio Armani designed clothing for Italy's Olympic team, fifty pieces in all for each athlete (plus luggage), and that doesn't even count the athletic uniforms! Armani did not design the athletic gear. The dark blue and white doesn't broadcast patriotism, but the jackets and polo shirts have the words of the Italian national anthem embroidered on.

Bosco Sport

Spain's uniforms were designed by Bosco Sport, a Russian company that is also doing uniforms for Russia and Ukraine. This is not sitting well with Spanish citizens. As a sponsor, Bosco is supplying the uniforms free, and some say they are worth every penny.

Bosco Sport

The Russian company Bosco Sport also designed the Russian uniforms. At the fashion unveiling in June, Aleksandr Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, predicted that his country would take home about 25 gold medals.


Unveiled in April, Germany's uniforms by Adidas sort the sexes by putting women in pink and men in blue, and neither color is from the German flag. The matching scarves are reversible.


New Zealand's uniforms were contracted to Kiwi firm Rodd and Gunn, but folks are upset that they were designed by Czech designer Irena Prikryl (who works for Rodd and Gunn in New Zealand), made of Italian textiles, and manufactured in Turkey, China, and Italy.

The uniforms for Hong Kong were designed by Kent and Curwen.


South Korea's sailor look is by Fila, designed to recall the 1948 Olympics, in which Korea celebrated its first Olympic participation after liberation from Japan. Note the argyle socks. On the right are athletic uniforms designed by Bean Pole.


With all the fashion designers in France, the French Olympic team curiously went to Adidas for their uniforms. The result was still understated high fashion.

See also: 2008 Olympic Team Uniforms.

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Redesigned Adidas Sneakers Channel Beijing’s Olympic Stadium
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Beijing National Stadium has stood empty since the 2008 Olympics, but that hasn’t stopped the building from becoming an architectural icon. Designer KXIV (Nathan Kiatkulpiboone) found inspiration in the tangled "Bird’s Nest" structure when re-imagining Adidas’s Ultraboost running shoe. As designboom reports, he used 3D-printing technology to achieve the lattice design.

KXIV comes from a background in architecture. When he isn’t dreaming up shopping centers or city towers, he’s applying the principles he uses as an architect to sneaker design. In 2014, he unveiled a pair of Nike Jordan X shoes that borrowed elements from Thailand’s White Temple and Black House. He's also created a line of dress shoes inspired by modern architecture for the footwear brand SewRaw.

His latest project evokes the Bird’s Nest woven exterior. The Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron designed the stadium for the 2008 Olympics, and today it’s remembered as one of the most distinctive structures ever built for the games.

To recreate the look on an Adidas sneaker, KXIV used polyurethane webbing fused to a lycra base. The upper layer of bands were 3D-printed in a way that holds the shoes together. The sneakers are just a prototype, so like the stadium they’re based on, the striking form will remain unused for the foreseeable future.

Shoes inspired by Beijing National Stadium.

Shoes inspired by Beijing National Stadium.

[h/t designboom]

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Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund
5 Fast Facts About Nancy Kerrigan
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Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund

Google Nancy Kerrigan’s name and the first batch of results will mainly be articles about the brutal knee injury she sustained, courtesy of an assailant hired by fellow skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, right before the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Yet Kerrigan is much more than a victim of that attack, even though Hollywood keeps making documentaries and feature films about the incident. Despite the injury, Kerrigan won a silver medal at Lillehammer (after previously winning a bronze at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France).

Currently, Kerrigan and dance partner Artem Chigvintsev are competing on the new season of Dancing with the Stars; as of this writing, the couple is still in it. Here are five things to know about the wannabe Mirror Ball trophy winner.


In 1972, Nancy’s mom, Brenda, lost complete sight in her left eye—and most of the sight in her right eye—and became legally blind because of a rare virus. When Nancy’s parents attended the Albertville Olympics, they had to sit underneath the stands and watch the performance on a TV. “It’s made it possible for me to see 100 percent more than I would in the stands, but not the way you do,” Brenda told The New York Times in 1992. “I never can see her face.” Kerrigan set up a charity, The Nancy Kerrigan Foundation, to raise money for the vision impaired.


Bob Martin/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

During the 1991 World Figure Skating Championships held in Munich 10 months before the 1992 Olympic Games, Kristi Yamaguchi, Harding, and Kerrigan all won medals; it was the first time the same country had swept the women’s medal stand. (American men did this in 1956.) Yamaguchi won gold at Albertville, Kerrigan won bronze, and Harding finished fourth.

Like Kerrigan, Yamaguchi also competed on DWTS; she danced with Mark Ballas during season six—and won. Wishing her former competitor Kerrigan luck, Yamaguchi tweeted “break a leg” to Kerrigan (which, in hindsight, might not have been the best way of rooting Kerrigan on).


In 2002, Kerrigan published a book on how to figure skate. In Artistry on Ice: Figure Skating Skills & Style, she writes about advanced techniques, competition, choreography, and costumes (she competed in designer costumes created by Vera Wang).


Kerrigan recently told People about how she developed an eating disorder after the traumatic events at the 1994 Olympics. All the media scrutiny caused her to feel like “everything else was really out of control at the time,” she said. “I would avoid food because it was something I could do. I felt like I could control that and nothing else.” She wasn’t anorexic, but she did stop eating for a period.

With encouragement from her manager and family, she slowly started eating more. Kerrigan is producing a documentary on eating disorders called Why Don’t You Lose 5 More Pounds, due out next year. The doc will feature interviews with other women who have suffered through extreme eating issues.



I, Tonya, a big-screen recounting of Harding’s rise to fame (and fall from grace) is currently in production. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film will focus mainly on Harding, who will be played by Margot Robbie. Caitlin Carver, who appeared in the film adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns, will play Kerrigan.


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