When the Olympic opening ceremonies roll around, I know two things are guaranteed: 1) I’ll learn the existence of at least 5 random countries 2) I’ll see outfits in an outrageous and futile quest for glory, if not on the medals podium than at least in this parade of nations.
This year in Sochi was no disappointment to either expectation so LET’S BEGIN.
THEME 1: Inventing new colors for your country
This has bothered me for a while. Australia, you’re probably right that yellow and green are more reflective of your land and people than are navy and red. But a nation and its flag is the most fundamental establishment of branding. If you can’t get behind your flag, what can you get behind? I’d accept the introduction of a non-flag accent color to modernize things… say keep the navy but add in yellow. But I don’t buy a dual identity, and I don’t think a country is entitled to a flag redo.
Guilty of the same crimes. Listen, I’m sorry red white and blue are such popular flag colors. But maybe you should have done a better job owning that shit. America was dealt the exact same cards, and you don’t see us wavering in our color scheme.
THEME 2: Crayon design
So I can’t imagine Leichtenstein had Ralph Lauren knocking on their door asking to design their Olympic outfits. But still, let’s believe that every nation has at least one citizen who is able to design something better than a crayon scribble parka. (BTW props to Leichtenstein for being a country I hadn’t previously known existed… Population 36,000, located between Switzerland and Austria)
THEME 3: Bad knitwear
I think these jackets and pants are moderately fine. I might expect to buy them in March off the clearance rack at Sports Authority. But its as if the day before the ceremonies Slovakia worried they their team might look too intimidating in these stark ensembles, and they better soften them up with with some knit hats and mittens with little hearts on them. CREAM colored knitwear, atop the WHITE jackets.
MOLDOVA IS HERE. Got it guys! Probably didn’t need to hold those scarves overhead. Especially since cylindrically entrapped ice queens already made each country’s entrance pretty apparent. I’m happy you’re competing in the games, they are a celebration the whole world should be invited to. But you’re only just barely a country I knew existed before these ceremonies. So forgive me for not Amazon Prime-ing one of your scarves to my doorstep.
THEME 4: Bad fur
Prime prime example of my number 2 expectation of the opening ceremonies: a country in an outrageous and futile quest for the glory they won’t be receiving on the medals podium. They really went for it, I’ll give them that. Royally ornamented flag bearer boots, visually accosting jackets featuring a procession of tiny animals across the chest. And best of all light tan fur trim which appeared, at many angles, to be an unfortunate late 80s haircut.
And in what feels like a proper blog post ending for these already well scrutinized games, let’s conclude with Russia. These velour knee length jackets were an aggressively Santa Claus way to go. I at least would have refrained from pairing them with velour red pants. But we’re quickly learning how much the Russians enjoy making their own destiny amidst the judgment of others. So all I can say is give Rudolph a pat for me!
AND GO USA!!!