Over the weekend, Columbia unveiled the Olympic Freestyle Ski Team uniforms that will be worn at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
With athletes from six different countries to outfit, Columbia designers kept three things in mind—high performance, innovation and national pride. “We took the older jackets from our athletes to see how they had modified them,” explained Becca Johnson, one of Columbia’s head designers. “We worked with them to find out exactly what they liked and didn’t like.”
Key features include:
This innovative technology puts the membrane on the outside of the jacket, creating uncompromised weather protection while maintaining full mobility and breathability. Olympic moguls gold medalist, Hannah Kearney, reminisced about the nasty rain on the day of her event in the Vancouver 2010 games. “The weather doesn’t always behave how you’re hoping. There’s a lot running through your head and it’s important to have gear that you can trust,” said Kearney.
Omni-Heat Reflective technology lines the inside of these jackets, providing low-bulk warmth. Little silver dots reflect the body’s natural heat to retain warmth in the extreme cold, and dissipating moisture and heat in warmer weather.
Light Rail Zippers
These flexible, laser-cut zippers are bonded directly to the shell fabric. By eliminating the need for traditional tape and sewing, the zippers are invisible from the outside creating a clean, low-profile look.
The moguls uniforms feature a grey, marbled tone that mimics the look of the moguls on the course. Part of what the judges look for is a calm, smooth run and the goal here was to somewhat mask body movement as the skier flies down the challenging slope.
Columbia worked with the athletes from each country to design an emblem in the lining that represents each athlete’s attitude and national pride. The emblem is integrated completely into the Omni-Heat Reflective material.
Looking at the uniforms, there’s no doubt that everything has been well thought out. The buttons have a miniature golden 2018 emblem on them and zippers sport each country’s name.
Olympic athletes spend time in some of the most brutal conditions both competing and training all year round. Columbia’s goal is to keep them dry and comfortable, and to give them the best shot at gold this February.
Columbia’s 2018 uniforms will be worn by athletes competing in the following events:
- United States: Moguls
- Canada: Moguls, Aerials, Slopestyle and Halfpipe
- Belarus: Aerials
- Kazakhstan: Moguls
- Brazil: Aerials
- Ukraine: Aerials