Team GB really lucked out when they managed to bag Stella McCartney’s superb skills for the design of their Adidas Olympic kit. But for some nations, the Olympic catwalk has not been so kind. Forget the empty seats at many events – for Brandish it’s been far more distressing spotting the sportswear sins some nations have forced upon their top athletes with their official kits. Here we highlight our pick of the worst five, including Team Russia, Team China and Team Germany. Scroll down to check out our picks!
The red and white squiggles of Team Russia's kit are supposed to be inspired by Moscow's street art. But these kit catastrophes couldn't be any further from the cutting-edge wit of street art if they tried. Perhaps they're a cast off from axed KGB camouflage gear from the seventies. You'd have blended in with Cold War-era wallpaper with ease in one of these tops.
Team GB have already picked up one London 2012 cycling gold medal thanks to Bradley Wiggins’ dominating performance in the time trials yesterday. This week sees the doors to the velodrome open, where Team GB’s Victoria Pendleton is well placed to grab another top podium place. We caught up with her last week to discuss the new sportswear innovations from Adidas that are driving here and the rest of the Great Britain cycling team forward.
When it comes to Great Britain’s gold medal chances at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Victoria Pendleton is a name that springs straight to mind. At the peak of her career, she’s cycling’s golden girl. Winning gold at the Beijing Olympics and coming off the back of great successes at the World Championships, her rivalry with fellow cycling sprinter Anna Meares of Australia promises to deliver some of the most nail-biting action of the games.
Looking for every advantage they can get out on the velodrome, Pendleton and the rest of the Team GB cycling team (including Chris Hoy, Laura Trott and Geraint Thomas) will be using a unique training aid – Adidas “Adipower” trousers.
Dubbed the “Hotpants”, the custom-fitted trousers are battery powered and are designed to be worn after an athlete’s warm-up. Heated filaments in the trousers direct heat to the core muscle groups in the legs, maintaining an ideal 38C temperature, meaning that Team GB’s legs should be limber before each event even if they’ve had a lengthy wait between their warm up session and the competitive races. There are even quick-release zips, letting the athletes get the Adipower kit on and off in seconds.
“We’ve had them for a couple of months now,” Pendleton explained to Tech Digest.
“They’re really easy to use and heat up almost instantaneously; you can really feel the temperature going up on your quads and hamstrings. For me as a sprinter, I have lots and lots of short events that are spread out over a day so it’s essential my muscles maintain their temperature after warm up.
“In cycling we talk about ‘marginal gains’ all the time; we’re training to the best of our abilities and have so many experts working with us. You want to make sure every detail is taken care of, and that we have every advantage possible. These trousers are another example of how Team GB is achieving that.”
Designed over the course of four years with input from Team GB and other top cyclists from across the globe, Adidas’s innovation spokesperson Udo Mueller stated that the Adipower trousers were exploring an area where few other sportswear manufacturers were venturing:
“There is a clear lack of garments being made where we do nothing illegal to push athletes to do their best. There’s a marginal gain to be made by using these ‘hotpants’ and we have to capitalise upon it. We did the same within the new swimming regulations and created a swimsuit lighter and faster than ever before. These new innovations should encourage and inspire other countries in the long haul to take advantage of that.”
And what of Pendleton’s chances against Meares? Will the “hotpants” give her the edge she needs to grab the gold?
“Anna and I are both competitive, determined, tenacious individuals. People who know us say we’re quite similar in character, and I’d expect that from someone of the same sport as me.
“I have huge respect for Anna Meares and I know she has a lot for me too. We’re just both hugely competitive individuals, and our form has converged at the same time.
“When it’s all over we’ll probably have a sit down and have a good laugh over all the hoohah we’ve read in press about each other over the last ten years!”
But the time for friendship comes later. For the rest of these games at least, we hope Pendleton remains fired up by the rivalry that could lead to one of Great Britain’s key gold medal wins.
You may or may not have realised, but Britain is gearing up for one of its most sport-filled summers of all time. Playing host to the London 2012 Olympic Games, the world’s finest athletes will be competing with the best that Britain has to offer in iconic venues across the capital.
And who better to shed light on Team GB’s prospects at the games than one of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians, Daley Thompson. Two-time gold medal winner and four times a world record breaker, Thompson is considered the greatest decathlete of all time.
Brandish and Tech Digest contributor Gerald Lynch stole a few minutes with the star, asking about Thompson’s hopes for this summer’s sporting extravaganza, and his thoughts on SEGA’s upcoming London 2012 – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games title which he is currently promoting.