Canadian Freestyle mogul skier Mikael Kingsbury gives a thumbs up to the new Team Canada Olympic uniforms. Columbia Sportswear unveiled this week the 2014 Olympic uniforms for the Canadian Moguls, Aerials, Halfpipe and Slopestyle athletes.
"What I see today is the best uniform I have worn. I am very happy to wear it in Sochi," says Kingsbury who worked directly with Columbia's design team. "It started with a trip to Portland where we met for two days with the design team. We went through everything; cut, colour, technology and some personal preferences."
The uniforms deliver warmth, protection and performance with fresh aesthetics and new technologies developed specifically for the unique needs of these elite athletes.
At the heart of the uniforms, Columbia's patented Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology delivers more warmth with less bulk, providing athletes critical mobility and unrestricted movement without compromising comfort.
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 the lightest-weight waterproof zipper in the world.
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.
"If there’s one thing that our multiple focus groups with freestyle ski athletes taught us, it’s that they’re fiercely individual (fierce in general, but that’s another story)," states Columbia Marketing materials. "Because of that, we built in opportunities for self-expression wherever we could. The interchangeable patches feature graphics that range from playful to traditional—they’re also great for trading with new international friends."
The patches feature Canadian icons, such as a moose and a mountie's cap.