Athletes thrilled with Opening Ceremony uniform

last year, 3 May 2012 (AEST)

The 2012 Australian Olympic Team Opening Ceremony uniform has been unveiled by seven outstanding athletes who are already feeling like winners 85 days out from the Games opening in London.

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In the middle of Sydney fashion week and for the first time in Australian Olympic history the uniform - featuring a vintage green sports jacket and iconic Australian shoe - was unveiled ahead of the Games by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Olympic gold medallist Libby Trickett was part of the athletes’ committee who developed the brief and worked with the Official Suppliers, Sportscraft and Volley, to produce a stunning Opening Ceremony uniform.

“We wanted something comfortable, relaxed, something iconically Australian but obviously something that suits athletes of all different shapes and sizes as well and it is just brilliant what they have been able to create for us,” Trickett, who will compete at her third Games said.

Also modelling the uniforms today were basketball superstar Lauren Jackson, who is off to her fourth Games, Sarah Tait who is set to row at her third, kayakers Naomi Flood, Murray Stewart, Kynan Maley and basketballer Adam Gibson all of whom are about to experience the thrill of the Games for the first time.

2012 Chef de Mission Nick Green who will lead his first Team in London is pleased with the reaction from the athletes.

“The uniform was designed by the athletes for the athletes and their reaction is very pleasing,” dual Olympic medallist Green said.

 “We are announcing the uniforms to you before the opening ceremony for the first time. It is historic, we know London will be historic. Today, I believe, is a great historic event.

“Five foot gymnasts to seven-foot tall basketballers and all the sports in between will look sensational.”

Jackson is headed to her fourth Games and wrapped with the uniform.

"I think the uniforms are great. They’re very retro and for me it is my sort of style so I am very happy," Jaskson said.

"This is one of my favourite opening ceremony uniforms. It is very iconic Australian. I feel very Australian, very patriotic and very proud to wearing it so I am really happy.

"This year they’ve made a point of making the uniforms comfortable. Leading into the games you want to be comfortable for those 7 hours you are on your feet."

Paddler Murray Stewart who has been selected for a remarkable four events at his debut Games was enjoying the big fashion event off the water.

"I’ve been reaching for my inner model today which has been a bit of a task but I think we all did alright," Stewart said. "The uniform is great. It is very comfortable and simple and I think it will be well suited to the occasion."

Trickett and Green were joined on the Uniform Design Sub-Committee by Chris Fydler (swimming 2000 and 2012 Deputy Chef de Mission) and Trent Franklin (water polo 2004, 2008) who worked closely with designers from Sportscraft and Volley.

The brief summised that the athletes wanted to feel "proud, inspired and honoured" to be wearing the Opening Ceremony uniform. They felt it important that the uniform be contemporary, stylish, wearable, slim-fit and classic modern. Alongside style, comfort was identified as an important factor, with athletes spending up to seven hours on their feet during the Ceremony.

Over the past 18 month Sportscraft and Volley have travelled around Australia with the AOC to measure-up over 1,500 prospective Team members for the Opening Ceremony and a uniform for the Team Reception and other similar functions throughout the Games.

Tailored to the different shapes, sizes and heights of the athletes, the uniform features a bespoke size range going from a size 2XS to 7XL and shoes starting from a size 13 kids through to a 18 US men’s to cater for the eventual selected team of 400 athletes and 300 officials.

Sportscraft have created a uniform where the hero is the vintage sports jacket, which takes its inspiration from Australian sporting heritage and is both timeless and authentic. The uniform is relaxed and comfortable and reflects the Australian lifestyle. A garment wash gives the uniform a vintage feel enhanced by old gold embroidery of the Olympic crest. The modern colour palette features an Australian green and gold offset with crisp white. Attention has been paid to the detailing with antique style brass buttons and a navy trim.

Daniel Bracken, CEO, Apparel Group said: “Sportscraft are very proud and excited to have once again worked with the AOC on the 2012 Opening Ceremony uniforms. It is an honour for us to be a part of this collaboration: a great Australian brand supporting a great Australian Team.”

London 2012 marks a first for Volley being an Official Supplier of the Australian Olympic Team. Continuing its role in Aussie sporting history, Volley is proud to reveal its customised sandshoe for the Opening Ceremony. The 2012 Australian Olympic Team Volley is white, with a custom green and navy woven collar and heel tape, green leather collar lining, 4mm wide green round wax coated laces with gold metal aglets, full grain leather tongue with the Australian Olympic Crest and Rings laser etched on the front side and ‘Australian Olympic Team 27 July – 12 August’ on the inside, and a souvenir custom moulded metallic gold metal laser etched swing tag.

Pacific Brands CEO, Sue Morphet said: “Volley is an iconic Australian brand, making it the perfect fit in every sense for the Australian Olympic Team. The past 18 months have been huge for Volley, with the range reset to its original specifications and the re-launch of three classic styles from the archives as well as this partnership with the AOC. We are truly honoured that Volley will be recognised as an Official Supplier to the Australian Olympic Team.”

The Australian Olympic Team will wear the uniform by Sportscraft and Volley at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. To share the spirit of the Games with all Australians, both Sportscraft and Volley will release licensed products, giving consumers the chance to own a piece of Australian Olympic history.

Andrew Reid
AOC