The 2014 Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia, February 7th through the 23rd. Various outfitters have worked overtime to dress the U.S. team attractively, tastefully, and competitively. Here you'll find a guide to recognizing the Americans in Sochi in whatever sport (except curling -we haven't seen the team's uniforms yet). Olympic athletes will be fitted out in uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies, their individual sports, medal ceremonies, and all are provided with casual gear for wearing in the Olympic Village.
Team USA's ceremonial uniforms will once again be provided by Ralph Lauren, but this time around they are guaranteed to be made in the USA, even though it was difficult to find enough manufacturers.
The uniforms for the opening ceremonies were unveiled just this morning. The team cardigans are a bit reminiscent of Christmas sweaters. You can get one, for $595.00. The company will also provide athletes a variety of clothing items for casual wear during the Olympics.
When any US athlete wins a medal, they will ascend the medal stand wearing a uniform from Nike. The Nike aeroloft 800 summit jacket features down insulation, a "titanium nano-coating," and zippable vents to release heat and moisture when necessary. They are available to the public for $450.
Photograph by Riley Steinmetz/US Ski Team.
The U.S. ski team athletic uniforms are from Bj Sport’s Bjørn Dæhlie brand. The concept is to emulate the American flag, but all I can think of is how cool these would look if the stars glowed in the dark. However, skiing in the dark might lead to headless skiers, which is the other idea this photograph evokes.
The U.S. snowboarding team uniforms are provided by Burton Snowboards. The design is modeled around an actual vintage patchwork quilt that was deconstructed by the design team. American snowboarders also had input into the design. A new material called DRYRIDE Vaporshell laminate is incorporated to keep athletes dry and warm. The uniforms themselves are not made in the U.S., but the snowboards are.
The U.S. hockey team will be wearing jerseys from Nike. Compared to other teams, they are quite minimalist. There are details that won't be seen by viewers, such as the slogan "Land of the free, home of the brave" inside the collar, and "1960 1980" (the years the U.S. hockey team won gold medals) inside the neck. The consumer version is $130. Nike also designed Russia's hockey jerseys, which are a lot more flamboyant.
The U.S. freeskiing team will wear uniforms from North Face. This is the first year for free skiing competition at the Olympics, and the designers used input from the athletes themselves for these event uniforms. The US-made slope style competition insulated jacket can be yours for $1,250.00.
The hi-tech athletic uniform that will be worn by American speed skaters in Sochi was designed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin in collaboration with sporting goods company Under Armour. The Batman-like black speed suit is called Mach 39. It's not smooth all over, but has a different texture in certain spots to direct air drag over the body in a precise manner. The suit zips diagonally to improve comfort at the neck. The thigh patches are a different fabric, named ArmourGlide, made specifically to reduce friction.
Under Armour is also providing the speed suits for the bobsled and skeleton teams at the Sochi Olympics.