Designed with athletes’ insights and the company’s latest fabric technologies, Columbia Sportswear has unveiled freestyle ski team uniforms that will be worn by athletes from the U.S. and other nations competing in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Columbia said every piece was executed with three design cues in mind: high performance, innovation and national pride. Each distinct kit features fresh aesthetics coupled with new technologies developed specifically for the needs of the elite athletes.
“Columbia’s partnership with these teams has not only inspired our designers to create the most technical, innovative and best performing products, but it has also provided insights throughout our winter collections,” said Joe Boyle, president of Columbia Sportswear. “We are proud of this collaboration and wish each team great success in PyeongChang.”
[Read more about technical outerwear: From Outerwear to Workwear, Fabric R&D Spikes New Performance Levels]
At the heart of the 2018 freestyle ski team uniforms is OutDry Extreme, Columbia’s solution for maximum waterproof protection and exceptional mobility. The ground-breaking membrane places a durable, permanent waterproof layer that actively repels water to ensure the athletes stay completely dry and comfortable. The uniforms feature the latest iteration of OutDry Extreme, and offers four-way stretch to ensure the skiers have a complete range of motion. The uniforms are also lined with a fresh application of Omni-Heat Reflective, designed for lightweight, breathable warmth. These innovations deliver athletes more warmth with less bulk and offer the critical mobility and unrestricted movement needed to take home the gold.
Six countries–the U.S., Canada, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Ukraine–will compete in the games wearing uniforms designed by Columbia: These athletes will face each other in the moguls, aerials, slopestyle and halfpipe events.
Additional technical features include a snow camouflage pattern designed to help mask body movement—a key judging component—for moguls skiers. The technical trims package includes a Columbia-designed, ultra-lightweight and low-profile Light Rail zipper that’s bonded directly onto laser-cut fabric, eliminating the need for zipper tape resulting in Columbia’s lightest-weight waterproof zipper.
In addition, fresh graphics, prints and trims capture the energy and history that have been a part of the games for decades, while also taking into consideration each country’s distinct iconography, the company noted. Customizable components like knee patches, nameplates and removable features allow the athletes to make the uniform their own without compromising the cohesive look of their national team.
“It’s a unique opportunity to work closely with a brand and see your input come to fruition,” said Troy Murphy, a member of the U.S. Ski Team. “We spend countless hours on the mountain in a wide variety of conditions. It’s awesome that we can give our feedback to Columbia and have them hand us a uniform the next season that reflects our input.”
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