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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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

2018 Winter Olympics By the Numbers: Which Country Was the Big Winner in Pyeongchang?

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]

Lars Baron/Getty Images
The Most Decorated Winter Olympians in History
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Lars Baron/Getty Images

For most athletes, winning a medal at the Olympics would be the pinnacle of their career. But these athletes didn't stop at just one. They excelled under pressure and earned themselves a spot in the annals of their respective sports as the Most Decorated Winter Olympians.

1. Marit Bjørgen, 14 Medals

Country: Norway
Sport: Cross-country skiing

Marit Bjørgen
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Bjørgen became the most decorated athlete at the 2010 Vancouver Games with five medals. She added three gold medals in 2014 to bring her lifetime total up to six golds, three silvers, and one bronze—making her the most successful female Olympian. With a gold, silver, and two bronze medals in PyeongChang, she became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

2. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, 13 Medals

Country: Norway
Sport: Biathlon

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Bjoerndalen won two gold medals at Sochi in 2014—in men's sprint biathlon and in the first Olympic mixed relay biathlon—to give him the lead in career-medal count. His hardware collection now includes eight gold medals, four silver, and one bronze. The 44-year-old failed to qualify for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

3. Bjorn Daehlie, 12 Medals

Country: Norway
Sport: Cross-country skiing

Bjorn Daehlie
Bob Martin/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

When Bjoerndalen won his 13th career medal, he surpassed fellow countryman Daehlie, who had held the record for most Olympic medals since his dominance in the '90s. Over three Winter Games Daehlie won eight gold and four silver medals before sustaining a career-ending injury as a result of a roller-skiing accident in 1999.

4 (tie). Raisa Smetanina, 10 Medals

Country: Russia
Sport: Cross-country skiing

Osetrov Yuri/ITAR-TASS/Landov

Although Bjørgen and Belmondo (below) have since matched her, Smetanina was the first woman to win 10 Olympic medals. Her final, a gold medal, came at her fifth Olympic Games in Albertville in 1992. She was 39 years old—at that time the oldest woman to win a Winter Olympic gold.

4 (tie). Stefania Belmondo, 10 Medals

Country: Italy
Sport: Cross-country skiing

Stefania Belmondo

Belmondo's Olympic career spanned a decade—from the 1992 Albertville Games through the 2002 Salt Lake City Games—despite a devastating injury in 1993. She ended her career with two gold medals, three silver, and five bronze.

6 (tie). Lyubov Yegorova, 9 Medals

Country: Russia
Sport: Cross-country skiing

REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

Yegorova only made two Olympic appearances: at Albertville in 1992, and two years later at Lillehammer. She managed to squeeze nine medals out of those Games—six gold and three silver—before her career came to an end due to a doping scandal at the 1997 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

6 (tie). Claudia Pechstein, 9 Medals

Country: Germany
Sport: Speed skating

Claudia Pechstein
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Pechstein is the most successful Olympic speed skater—male or female—in the world, and also the most successful German Winter Olympian of all time. That said, she missed the chance to set herself even further apart in the 2010 Games after getting slapped with a two-year ban from the sport in 2009 for doping accusations.

6 (tie). Sixten Jernberg, 9 Medals

Country: Sweden
Sport: Cross-country skiing

1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Jernberg (right) was a blacksmith and a lumberjack before beginning his career as a cross-country skier. Over three Olympics in the 1950s and '60s, he earned four gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, never finishing lower than fifth.

6 (tie). Uschi Disl, 9 Medals

Country: Germany
Sport: Biathlon


This five-time Olympian is the owner of two gold medals, four silver and three bronze, and the 2005 title of German Sportswoman of the Year. She has been the most successful women’s biathlete at the Olympic Games, although she never won a gold in an individual event.


More from mental floss studios