2014 Olympic Uniforms from Around the World

Last week we looked at what the U.S. Olympic team will be wearing during the Winter Games in Sochi, which open this Friday. Now we have some team uniforms from other nations.

France

You would expect the French to be stylishly attired at the Olympics, and they will be, in uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies designed by LaCoste. However, they might fly under the radar for their understated elegance and neutral colors.

Germany

The uniforms that will stand out are the rainbow hats, coats, and pants of the German Olympic team. The German Olympic Committee insists that the designs by Bogner were in place before Russia passed its anti-gay legislation (after all, they were colorful in London, too), but the coincidence will stand out against both the snow and any other team.

Canada

Photograph by Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Canada's Olympic teams will be outfitted in relatively understated red and black coats and sweaters from Hudson’s Bay Co, a longtime Olympic supplier. The athletes' uniforms are all made in Canada, while the replicas available to the public are manufactured in China, making them more affordable.

Photograph from Hockey Canada.

Canada's hockey uniforms look perfectly serviceable to non-Canadians, but drew criticism because the white jersey, being a negative image of the red jersey, resembles the logo for the gasoline brand Petro-Canada. Alternate colors are required of teams, in order to provide contrast to any opposing team. The jerseys are from Nike, who made hockey uniforms for several Olympic teams. Nike's jerseys for the US and Russian teams are little more ornate. 

Japan

The Japanese Olympic team will be all business at the opening ceremonies in Sochi. Their uniforms were designed by Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores. Those jackets are warmer than they look, made of a blend of wool and cashmere. Award uniforms and casual wear were designed by DESCENTE, Mizuno and ASICS Japan. Japan is sending around 100 athletes to Sochi. 

New Zealand

Photograph from NZ Olympic Team.

Winter Olympians from New Zealand will be wearing “onesies” by Mons Royale at the opening ceremonies. Outerwear is from PEAK. The picture here shows uniforms for various sports plus casual wear.

South Korea

Getty Images

South Korea is sending 64 athletes to Sochi, in warm coats modeled at a celebration of the country’s athletic delegation.

Italy

The Italian Olympic team has been outfitted in ceremonial and casual wear by Giorgio Armani, as in past Olympics. The uniforms in this picture, supplied by Armani, may or may not be worn in the opening ceremonies. We may be surprised to see what the Italians wear -but it will be stylish!

Czech Republic

Photograph from Roman Vondrous/CTK/Zuma Press.

The Czech Republic ski jumping team models team uniforms, although we are not sure whether this uniform is for only the ski jumping team or for the national team. These uniforms are much more understated than what they wore in Vancouver in 2010. 

Russia

Perennial Olympic supplier Bosco designed the uniforms of the Russian national team. As in previous years, they are heavy on the red, a bit brighter than the Canadian uniforms, and a little heavy on the fur. The gloves worn by the athletes have a different color on each finger, giving the appearance of a rainbow.

Norway

Photograph from Facebook.

The Norwegian curling team stands out for their sartorial flair in these dazzling athletic uniforms, no doubt designed to disorient any opposing team. Although not everyone likes the uniforms, the Norwegian team is so famous for their fashion sense that there’s a Facebook page dedicated to the team and their pants. 

Mexico

Is a uniform still a uniform when only one person wears it? The Free Online Dictionary defines the noun uniform as “A distinctive outfit intended to identify those who wear it as members of a specific group.” That works for Hubertus von Hohenlohe, the German prince who is the sole athlete representing Mexico in the Winter Games and the sole member of the Mexican Ski Federation.

Von Hohenlohe’s athletic uniform was designed by the Italian company Kappa to resemble a mariachi costume. When he competes in the Alpine events, there will be no mistaking him for any other skier. See more pictures of the speedsuit design here, and a video of the photo shoot here

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How to Tie Your Shoes With One Hand, According to a Paralympian
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Megan Absten lost her left arm in an ATV accident when she was 14, but the injury hasn't stopped her from doing extraordinary things like competing for the U.S. track and field team in the Paralympics. Nor has it stopped her from completing everyday tasks that most people need two hands for—like tying her shoes. After the shoe-tying methods she learned in physical therapy didn't cut it for her, she had to come up with her own one-handed trick. She shares her process in a new video spotted by Lifehacker.

First things first: Lay your laces on either side of your shoe. Next, use your hand to cross them and tuck one end through to make the beginning of your knot. Pin the end of one lace beneath the bottom of your foot to hold it tight, then pull the second lace up with your hand.

Now, you're ready to make your bunny ears. Create a loop with the free lace and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Then, use your middle finger to grab the lace that you’ve been holding under your shoe. Circle this string around the loop, then push it through the opening to create your second bunny ear. Tighten the new knot by sticking your index finger and thumb in each loop and spreading them wide.

Watch Absten explain the process for herself in the video below. If you're feeling more advanced, she also demonstrates a second technique for you to try.

Once you've mastered those methods, try out these shoe hacks for happier feet.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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2018 Winter Olympics By the Numbers: Which Country Was the Big Winner in Pyeongchang?
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JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AFP/Getty Images

The closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics was held on Sunday, February 25, concluding more than two weeks of history-making figure-skating jumps and listening to curlers yell at each other. But if you're someone who tunes in to the Olympics only to see your country win, you may have been left feeling confused. There was no official winner announced at the end of the event, so how are you supposed to know which nation dominated the Winter Games? Judging solely by medal count, these are the countries that skied, skated, and slid their way to the top in Pyeongchang.

According to Bloomberg, Norway came out of the games as the most decorated country. The Scandinavian nation of 5.3 million took home 11 bronze, 14 silver, and 14 gold medals, bringing the total to 39. That makes Norway the biggest single nation winner at any Winter Olympics, breaking the prior record of 37, which was set by the U.S. at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Norway was represented by about half the number of athletes competing on Team USA, but it was bolstered by a few advantages—like long winters (making training for cross-country sports easier), universal healthcare, and a culture that encourages young athletes to play sports for the sake of play rather than for the sake of winning.

Germany tied Norway for the most golds with 14, but earned 10 silver and seven bronze medals, landing them in second place with 31. Canada ranked third with 29 medals overall, 11 of which were gold, and the United States came in fourth with a tally of 23 medals, including nine golds. The Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, France, and Austria round out the top 10.

Teams used to spending a lot of time on the podium may strive for that top slot, but placing in any event is impressive. The majority of teams that competed went home without any medals to show for their efforts. Fortunately, they have until 2022 to prepare for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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