The Columbia Sportswear Company has unveiled the 2014 Olympic uniforms for the Canadian, US, and Russian Freestyle Ski teams.
Custom designed for each country from the ground up, the uniforms feature new technologies developed specifically for elite athletes.
Based on extensive athlete input, Columbia’s design team integrated a slew of innovative details such as a unique snow camouflage pattern to help mask body movement—a key judging component—for moguls skiers. The uniforms also feature a patent-pending Columbia-designed ultra-lightweight and low-profile LightRail™ Zipper which is bonded directly onto laser-cut fabric, completely eliminating the need for zipper tape and resulting in a light-weight waterproof zipper.
Columbia’s design team engaged directly with the athletes to gain insight into how the uniforms could enhance performance. “It started with a trip to Portland where we met for two days with the design team,” says Mikael Kingsbury, a Canadian Freestyle mogul skier. “We went through everything—cut, colour, technology, and some personal preferences. After that it was constant dialogue at every step. What I see today is truly the best uniform I have worn. I am very happy to wear it in Sochi.”
At the heart of the uniforms is Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology, which promises to deliver more warmth with less bulk, providing athletes critical mobility and unrestricted movement without compromising comfort, Columbia says.
But technology is only part of the story—fresh graphics and prints reflect unexpected and inspiring energy while honouring each country’s distinct iconography. Customizable components like interchangeable shoulder patches, custom nameplates, and removable pockets allow the athletes to make the uniform their own without compromising the cohesive look of the team.
After a successful sponsorship of the powerhouse Canadian Freestyle Ski Team during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, expanding Columbia’s support to include the U.S. and Russian teams was a natural evolution for the global brand, Columbia reports.
“We applaud the dedication and talent of all athletes who have trained for years in preparation to deliver their best performances when it matters most.” said Columbia’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Tim Boyle. “Our design teams drew inspiration directly from the U.S., Canadian and Russian athletes and their diverse national cultures in designing these competitive team uniforms, incorporating everything we’ve learned in our first 75 years of trying stuff in an effort to enhance their performance. We wish each of them great success in Sochi.”
Columbia’s uniforms will be worn by national athletes competing in the following Freestyle Ski Events: • Canada: Moguls, Aerials, Halfpipe and Slopestyle • United States: Moguls and Aerials • Russia: Moguls, Aerials, Slopestyle, Halfpipe, and Skicross.
For more info on the Canadian Freestyle team, see www.freestyleski.com
Photo courtesy of www.freestyleski.com
SnowOnline Editor: Lori Knowles