The Australian Olympic Committee launched the uniform that their athletes will wear in the Rio 2016 opening ceremony on Wednesday morning and they’ve managed to sneak under their own very low bar.
Since the turn of the century the Australian Olympic Team have a history of success. They’ve not finished lower than tenth on the medal tally (4th in 2000 and 2004, 6th in 2008 and 10th in 2012) with the seven Gold Medal’s from London a cause for concern in parts of Australia’s sporting fraternity.
In that same time span the choice of uniform for the opening ceremony has remained, at best, questionable. In keeping with said tradition the Australian team will march in to the Maracanã Stadium on August 5th looking as if they’ve suffered an identity crisis.
2000 had the outback theme, 2004 saw the return to prominence of the spray jacket, 2008 intrigued with the return of the nations traditional blue, while 2012 saw the return of the timeless bottle green look.
As an Australian it is your birthright to know that “It’s moments like these you need Minties”, yet I don’t think the opening ceremony was the moment they were referring to when they coined that slogan in 1926.
The mint and white stripped jackets that are to be donned in August are desperately out of place in a uniform that features white shorts or skirts and yellow tie or green wrap-around scarf. The balance between the individual elements of the uniform is lacking and while we are going to stand out when we make our grand entrance, it’s not going to be for the reason the AOC hoped when they approved the design.
If the AOC had have gone with an entirely mint jacket and a soft gold skirt / pants combo with a white shirt and no tie, the blow would be softened dramatically and a timeless classic may have emerged.
They are by no means the worst Australian opening ceremony uniform (see Barcelona 1992 for that) but they do raise the question of the look that the AOC were aiming for as they appear to have landed smack between honourng the tradition of Olympics past and landing in a candy-land future.