Sport is as much about the uniform for me as it is the action. The opening of the Paralympics this morning saw a greater variety of uniforms than I expected and there were some memorable ones among them. Read on as I take a look at the best and worst of the crop.
Five best Paralympics Opening Ceremony uniforms:
- Great Britain – Hands down the best uniform belonged to Great Britain, because it was one that we had already seen before. The fact that Team GB were decked out in the exact same kit as their able-bodied counterparts shows how serious the GBOC and GBPC are about having the movement succeed. If Great Britain’s Olympic team had worn something different there is no way that their Paralympic team would be at the top of the list in these outfits.
- Iraq – There wasn’t much that stood out in the Iraqi uniform, but what did is what sees them get the number two position. Hats made from Balloons that you would see a clown make animals with at a children’s birthday party was not only a unique touch, but shows the party atmosphere the athletes are looking to bring to the Games after going through many personal struggles in their homeland.
- The Netherlands – You can’t go wrong with fluorescent orange in my opinion. Not only did the Dutch wear fluro orange suits, but went one better by adding a white sweater vest underneath. They pulled the unusual look off with ease in a display of fashion that will long stick with orange enthusiasts such as myself.
- Austria- Looking striking in their national colours of Red and White were Team Austria, who pulled off one of the classiest looks of the ceremony with their red blazer and white slacks combination. When looking at countries such as Canada who also share the red and white colour scheme and what they did with their outfits (very little, in fact Team Canada were on my short-list of worst uniforms), you can’t help but be more impressed by the Austrian outfit.
- Czech Republic – The stand-out for the Czech Republic was the fact that they were wearing shorts. Sure it was raining (isn’t it always in London), but they did something that very few nations would think to, let-alone dare to do.
Five worst Paralympics Opening Ceremony uniforms:
- Mexico – The only uniform about the Mexican outfit as they walked into the stadium was the lack of uniformity. I don’t think I saw two athletes that were dressed the same, which makes me wonder if they either A) were told to just bring clothes from home to wear, or B) have the largest uniform in the history of the Paralympics.
- United States of America – While Team GB wore the exact same uniforms as their Olympic counterparts, the only similarity for the United States of America was the fact their athletes wore a beret. I said it when their Olympic team walked out, I said it again this morning and i’m more than happy to say it again here “The American team are playing up to the service stereotype too often” , after they were also seen rocking a military themed outfit at the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Burkina Faso – Burkina Faso came out wearing what looked like a mix between an inmate uniform and winter pyjamas with the sleeves cut off. Furthermore they were wearing maroon hats which resembled teepees. Nothing at all to like about them.
- Argentina – The light and dark blue combination works a treat for Argentina, but this morning they found a way to mess it up. Spray jackets are fine if you are an athlete at any sporting event, but they are not apparel that should be worn at the opening ceremony, an occasion where you want to showcase the best of what you have to offer.
- Solomon Islands- The only thing worse than a spray jacket in an Opening Ceremony is a national flag t-shirt. This was the only mistake made by the Solomon Islanders’ , whose usual green, blue and yellow combination otherwise worked a treat and could have seen them rocking one of the best kits, had they be handled by a different design team.