NEW YORK – With a buffalo check design and a nod to sustainability, Ralph Lauren unveiled navy blue uniforms for Team USA on Thursday to be worn during the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Just six months after the Summer Games in Tokyo, winter sports enthusiasts are gearing up for China in February. After the competition, they will parade in a down jacket with a hood and a red and blue checkered front and back. It’s made from recycled polyester and recycled down.
White fleece pants for men and fleece-lined leggings in navy for women, as well as gloves and sturdy boots, are also made from recycled polyester. The athletes wear a turtleneck in the same blue with the American flag and the Olympic rings in white.
The sweater is made from responsibly sourced US wool, the company said. These efforts go hand in hand with Ralph Lauren’s promise to only use recycled wool or US wool certified to the Responsible Wool Standard by 2025.
“We are investing heavily in scaling sustainability solutions that have the potential to significantly reduce our impact and that of the industry as a whole,” said David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer, in a statement.
All in all, every piece was made in the USA. Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter of Team USA since 2008. The graduation ceremony uniforms were unveiled 100 days before the Beijing Games began.
The equipment for fans reminiscent of the Beijing designs was sold on Thursday at Ralphlauren.com, from red checked travel bags and backpacks to white down jackets in a bold Olympic ring print. There are tracksuits with the same graphic print and a range of hats, warm-up gear and the same lace-up ankle boots in red or white that Team USA will wear on their feet.
A portion of the proceeds from consumer sales of the collection will support the US teams. Others will be sold in conjunction with the design of the opening ceremony uniforms, which will be introduced after the New Year.
Two-time gold medalist Jamie Anderson, a snowboarder and one of Ralph Lauren’s Athlete Ambassadors, was delighted with the parade look as she prepares for a three-way peat try. She also has a silver medal.
“I was just saying how cozy this jacket is,” the 31-year-old told The Associated Press in the Ralph Lauren showroom on Madison Avenue. “It just feels really good. Like, quality. They know they will last forever, which is great. “
The inside pocket of the jacket was a hit.
Anderson spent her pandemic year cross-training in Whistler, Canada – her base. Her free time helped her get into surfing, mountain biking, and skateboarding.
“Unfortunately Beijing doesn’t have the best snow in the world, but you work with what you have and do your best,” she said. “Hopefully the snow gods will come through.”
For slopestyle, she will go to the Genting Resort Secret Garden in the mountain town of Zhangjiakou City for runs that she can hardly wait.
Bobsleigh rider Aja Evans, who won bronze in Sochi in 2014, retired after the 2018 competition in Pyeongchang, but could not stay away.
“When I retired, I had to take a step back and just find out who I was as a person,” said 33-year-old Evans. “So much of my adult life has been tied to my Olympic trip, and it’s a bit confused about what to do.”
She wants to continue working with the kids in her south Chicago community as she lives out her passion.
“I want to inspire and uplift,” said Evans.
Regarding the uniforms, she said: “I love the plaid. It gives me a kind of ski area atmosphere. “
Skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who competes in the alpine area, travels to his second Olympic Games in search of his first medal. Skiing, said the Vermonter, runs in his blood.
“My whole family, we were all skiers who grew up. My grandfather had a little little ski area, just a tow rope and a drag lift. I was the youngest of my cousins and we all grew up kind of love, ”he said.
The plaid, said the 29-year-old, speaks at home.
“Yes, we have a good selection of plaids in Vermont,” smiled Cochran-Siegle. “I have a good number of flannels.” AP
Image courtesy of AP