I meant to write this post a week ago. In fact, as soon as I watched the Parade of Nations, I wanted to write it. However, I got lazy (being unemployed will do that to you) and then got engrossed in the first book A Game of Thrones of A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin (which is what the HBO show Game of Thrones is based on and I have yet to watch). I also may have been daydreaming a little too much about Michael Phelps and trying to figure out if he is actually human or some kind of aquatic alien in disguise.
For all it is worth, here are my thoughts on some of the Olympic uniforms we got to see the athletes wear in the Opening Ceremonies last week. Better late than never, they say.
I thought the initial brouhaha over the American uniforms for the Opening Ceremonies was silly. Yes, they were made in China. Like the majority of the clothes you wear every day! I dare any of you reading this to go into your closet and pull out at least five pieces of clothing made in the USA. I don’t think I even own anything made in the USA, as sad as that is. I was greatly amused by the media’s insistence that the uniforms were too “French” or “European looking.” Here is a not so little secret: nobody under the age of 65 wears a beret in France anymore. I associate berets with military uniforms and I thought it was a nice touch. Seriously, what would you have them wear on their heads? Cowboy hats? I shudder at the tackiness.
Was the American uniform perfect? No. I didn’t like the skirt so much and felt bad for the girls. However, when Team USA came out, they actually looked pretty classy and they were well-behaved.
Spain’s flag has a challenging color scheme. Mustard yellow and ruby red? The guys looked fine, but the girls were forced to wear these yellow blazers along with a red scarf around the neck and they all toted a red handbag shaped as a fan. I liked the hats the guys wore (which most opted to take off and wave around) and the flower headband the girls wore (which I think was an homage to flamenco dancing). However, as a whole I wasn’t crazy about the uniform.
On another blog, somebody commented Spain’s athletes acted like they were drunk since they were definitely one of the loudest and most boisterous teams as they entered the stadium. Here is another secret that will surprise nobody who has ever spent any amount of time in Spain: The Spanish loved to party and are naturally loud like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if vino and cerveza were involved, but the Spanish tend to be overly enthusiastic about everything.
However, the Queen of Spain, Reina Sofia, managed to rock the uniform. Such a contrast to Queen Elizabeth, who never seems to smile.
Maybe Mexico was trying to break away from the usual practice of having their athletes all wear the same uniform. However, isn’t that the whole point of the word uniform? So everybody looks the same? The concept just seemed like it was all over the place and the athletes looked like they belonged in a circus. I didn’t like the style either and I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what the style was to begin with. It almost seems like the Mexican athletes were told to wear whatever they wanted.
Oh, Sweden. Why? You have some of the most gorgeous people on the planet. Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, and my personal favorite Alexander Skarsgard. When the Swedish team came out, my friend Sarah commented they looked like they were trying to emulate some kind of Where’s Waldo theme. My mind drifted to Ariel’s sidekick Flounder, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The fish is those exact same colors!
The Olympics can be very educational–places you didn’t even know existed show up in the Parade of Nations! The Cook Islands were one of the many places I had never heard of–a small island located somewhere in the south Pacific Ocean. That goes for any place in the South Pacific. Wouldn’t a category based on islands in the South Pacific be an excellent addition to Jeopardy?
These uniforms are fine. However, these are the moments in which you learn the Cayman Islands isn’t just a fictitious place in the Caribbean where action/adventure movie villains keep their offshore bank accounts. I don’t even know what an offshore bank account is but it sounds mysterious.
I feel like a few Olympic uniform designers confused the Summer and Winter Olympics. Estonia was not the only country to do this but it’s the only one I’m going to post. The white pants are summery but what is with the coat? It looks like a ski jacket!
I was confused and liked the Czech Republic uniform at the same time. I thought the blue rain boots were a nice touch, considering Great Britain is world famous for its less than spectacular weather. Some of the athletes even carried matching umbrellas! However the girls had to wear these weird kind of spandex shorts. Of course the girls are stuck wearing spandex but the guys get to wear comfy bermuda shorts.
I’m only including Fiji because of the guy holding the flag. I don’t know who he is or what sport he plays. I don’t care, I could stare at him all day.
The guys’ uniform is meh but I LOVE the dress the girl athletes from Guam are wearing! I would buy this dress for my next vacation to the Caribbean (sidenote: Guam is not located in the Caribbean), if I had any plans to go to the Caribbean anytime soon (which I don’t).
Some of the best uniforms came from Africa. Is that such a surprise, though? A lot of African countries chose to showcase their country’s traditional dress which I loved. They were all so colorful, but in a uniform way (take notes, Mexico).
Another interesting uniform. Is Colombia known for its jungle safaris? All the athletes look like they were dressed like tourists and were ready to go on a safari. I don’t think they are going to be very successful going on a safari in London though…
And that’s all I’ve got! What did you guys think of the Olympic uniforms?