The Australian team. Photo: Andrew Meares

Look, can we just begin this conversation by agreeing that neither
fashion nor sport are issues of enormous significance. Even the
Olympics. Even the Australian team’s uniform for the opening ceremony. Agreed? Ok.

I
can’t remember anyone ever saying a good word about any Australian team
Olympic uniform and the critics were predictible in slamming Friday
night’s effort by our team in Beijing.
Even my mother was complaining about it.

I thought it was great. Fun, casual, sporty. Young. Not green and gold. Thank God.
Commentary
in the weekend papers pointed to the ‘chic and stylish’ other countries
like Italy and America and showed a whole lot of other team uniforms (I
was sooo asleep by the time everyone marched live on Friday night) but quite frankly, I don’t see that a Ralph Lauren cream blazer and some navy slacks is anything
to aspire to.

For once, our team didn’t look like bank tellers or flight attendants. Silver and blue and sparkles?
Refreshing. Woo hoo.

The official word from Australian Olympic officials on the subject:

Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred said the switch to
blue uniforms – the first time an Australian team has marched without
any green or gold – was a deliberate measure to modernise the look and
feel of the Aussie uniform.

"Every time we wear green and gold people say, ‘Why are we wearing green and gold.’ You can’t win,” he said.

"The athletes loved it. As Melanie (Roche, the Aussie softballer) said, ‘it’s hip’."

Tancred said the colour and trim of the uniform was designed in consultation with the athletes.

"The
athletes picked it they loved it. It reflected the light – that was the
design feature that Sportscraft wanted. It’s a uniform for young
athletes and the girls particularly last night in the village were all
wearing theirs.

"They all wore it by choice and took photos of one another and they absolutely loved it.

"We
just think we are on track in that it’s got to be young because the
team is young. It’s no good putting 18-year-olds in a blazer and a
boater or a Great Gatsby cap like the Americans had because that’s not
what they want to wear.”

   
    UPDATE:
Here are the Americans and the Japanese:

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Here are the Canadians

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