Pigtown Design: Olympic Ski Uniform Inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner?

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I am not quite sure how I missed this gem last night:

According to the person responsible for the design, Spyder’s Production Art Manager, Matt Strackbein, “when creating the [U.S. Ski Team Olympic] race suit graphics we knew it was crucial that the racers felt a sincere sense of patriotism, so we utilized ‘stars and stripes’ in a less traditional, more dynamic way … as important as it was to represent the U.S.A., it was equally important that the athletes look and feel fast.imageWhen I began the design process, I thought about times when I feel that same degree of patriotism and I immediately thought about the National Anthem, so I decided to use the song lyrics from the Star Spangled Banner for inspiration. Per the song, one of the most meaningful sightings of the American Flag happened the morning after Francis Scott key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. There, ‘by dawn’s early light,’ Key saw that ‘our flag was still there,’ albeit a much larger flag than the small storm-flag that had flown over the fort all night during the battle. But what stood out most upon reading the lyrics was that, because the air was so laden with smoke after the battle, Key recognized it rippling in the water off the edge of the ship on which he was being held captive.image

“I tried to imagine what he was feeling in his heart at that moment – surely a deep sense of pride, not unlike the feeling an athlete must have when they win Olympic Gold. So, for the race suit, we used blue and white fades in the design to represent that early morning setting, and thinner red and white stripes to represent the flag rippling in the water. The goal was to capture as much of that imagery in the race suit as possible so that the U.S. Ski Team Athletes can potentially feel that heightened sense of hope, pride, courage and determination.”

At least the man knows his history. Having served on the Board at Fort McHenry for six years, and having done a ton of research for a project I am working on, I am not sure how I feel about this.image

What do you think? Can you even imagine what Francis Scott Key would think of these uniforms?

I have to admit that I like the summer Olympics much more than the winter ones, but it’s still fun to watch the skating and skiing, and the other things they do in cold weather…

I was a little put off by the USA winter uniforms, even though they were designed by Ralph Lauren and made in the USA.image

I think the sweaters are too busy and the message gets lost in all of the clutter. And I’d like to see the Polo name be a bit smaller and not so front-and-center! We all know that RL Polo did the uniforms, so he should be a little less conspicuous. IMO!

I like the closing ceremony outfits more, but I don’t love them. Are they wearing sweatpants?image

All that being said, ours are miles better than some of the other winter uniforms.

Like these horrors from Germany:image

France looking a bit austere:image

Hudson’s Bay designed Canada’s uniforms:image

H&M designed Sweden’s:image

Uh, these are from the Netherlands. I wonder if the designer knew these people were going to a sports event.image

Russia’s uniforms, at least they’re dressed for cold weather, not work.image

Poland’s uniforms make me cold just to look at them:image

The Czech uniforms look like something landed on their heads:image

Latvia’s uniforms are just dire, and they still have the tags on them:image

Apparently, our snowboarders are going for the homeless chic look. Not good.image

Last, but not least, the Norwegian Curling Team:image

I think I am having a seizure!

Read more at Pigtown Design 

Meg Fielding

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.


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