By Sean McCoy
It’s another month until the Winter Olympics. But news on the athletes and the gear associated with the Games is coming out fast, including a major announcement today from Columbia Sportswear.
In what amounts to one of the biggest projects Columbia has ever pursued, the company this evening unveiled its custom-built uniforms for the U.S., Russian and Canadian Teams.
GearJunkie is live at the launch event in Utah now to get the industry’s first look at the Olympic uniforms that competitors will wear in Sochi for moguls, aerials, half-pipe, skicross, and slopestyle events.
The company’s Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology is used as a base in many of the pieces. But the Olympics gave Columbia designers an excuse to pour months of time into building ski suits with new technologies.
“These are works of art. We’ve never done anything as technologically advanced before,” said Jeff Mergy, Director of Innovation for Columbia.
Never-before-seen touches include: A new kind of waterproof zipper bonded to laser-cut fabric; removable pockets for changing the look of a jacket on the fly; and special patterns and colors, called “snow camouflage,” on the uniforms made to mask body movement in mogul skiing (ostensibly for better results from the judges).
Columbia will outfit the American contingent of Aerial and Mogul competitors in the Games. On this page below is a look at the pieces you’ll see on the red, white, and blue team in Sochi this winter.
The unveiling was also the first opportunity athletes had to check out their new uniforms.
“They’re awesome. They’re really moveable, which I love,” said likely Team USA Moguls skier Heather McPhie. “I love all the detailing. They’re designed specifically for us and it feels different, special.”