Fashion of The Olympic Winter Games
In the modern Olympic Games, television has enhanced the role of the opening ceremony. Viewers expect a spectacular show and the design of the uniforms worn by each country is one of the main topics commentators discuss. Over the years, the Parade of Nations into the Olympic stadium has become a fashion show.
Olympic Winter Games Fashion
During the 1932 Olympic Winter Games, the United States Olympic delegation was outfitted by A. G. Spalding. The jackets were designed using traditional American colors. Athletes walked into the Olympic stadium wearing cream-colored wool coats with red buttons and a blue belt. This was the traditional color for the United States’ parade uniforms with only a few variations made to the design for the next 36 years.
Imagine qualifying for the Olympics, being given your uniform, and then never being able to participate in the Games. Bobsled brakeman, Gus Clain, qualified for the SapporoOlympics with his team in 1939, but the following year the Games were canceled due to WWII.
In 1968, brightly colored parade coats were featured at the Opening Ceremony Parade in Grenoble, France. This was the first time the Olympics were broadcast in color. It was after these Games that the Winter Olympics became more popular in the United States.
Sportswear companies and fashion designers saw this as an opportunity to create the team uniforms worn for the televised opening ceremonies.
This uniform was worn by Jeanne Ashworth who was a speed skater and competed in three Winter Olympic Games. Ashworth was a resident of Wilmington, New York until she passed away in 2018
The 1980 uniforms were designed by Levi Strauss. The outfit has been described as having an “All-American” style complete with blue jeans, belt buckle, and a cowboy hat. In addition to the opening ceremony uniforms, they also designed many of the team warm-up uniforms. It was at these Games that Levi’s created a highly visible branding campaign and was selected to design the uniforms for the Olympic Winter Games in 1984.
Over the years, major sponsorship deals have been made with a variety of well-known apparel companies to outfit the United States Olympic teams. American Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren outfitted the U.S. Olympic team from 2010 – 2018.
This jacket was worn during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by Lake Placid resident Andrew Weibrecht.