Lights, camera, fashion.
The opening ceremony for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad (colloquially known as the 2021 Summer Olympics, duh) kicks things off on Friday, and Ralph Lauren is once again outfitting Team USA athletes for their match through the Olympic Stadium.
This year, there’s a slightly new look for the outfits and some cool (literally) technology implemented in the jackets of the flagbearers for the country.
Ralph Lauren introduced eco-friendly uniforms for Team USA’s opening ceremony outfits, with the look blending Americana with classic style heading into Tokyo’s Olympic games.
Here’s what you need to know about the opening ceremony gear:
USA opening ceremony outfits 2021
The opening ceremony outfits in 2021 are, fashionably, some more of the same that we’ve seen in years past. Athletes will be wearing:
- A navy blue blazer with a United States crest and Ralphen Lauren logo on the front;
- A navy blue striped shirt;
- A stars-and-stripes ascot;
- Slim-fit blue denim pants;
- Red, white and blue sneakers.
Fashionably and functionally, the uniforms for the flagbearers are a bit different, as well: They will wear white, denim jackets, which will be fitted with something of a mini air-conditioning system that is designed to keep the athletes cool while partaking in the opening ceremony.
From the company’s release regarding the technology:
The RL COOLING system is seamlessly integrated into the garment and disperses heat from the wearer’s skin through a sophisticated device that monitors and optimizes temperature and uses the same technology to cool the world’s most advanced computer systems. The effect is a cooling sensation that can be immediately felt and is long-lasting, even in the most oppressive heat.
The materials used in the outfit are all designed to be long-lasting, eco-friendly and sustainable, as well.
Who designed USA’s Olympic outfits?
Fashion company Ralph Lauren returns again, as it has designed the United States’ parade outfits every Olympics since 2008, including the winter games.
The company’s designs aren’t always well received, though: Critics point to Lauren’s “monopolization” of the Olympic outfits, with some criticizing the uniforms as “swagless” and boring.
Why USA athletes are wearing jeans for opening ceremony
This year, rather than white slacks, which have been worn in prior iterations of the opening ceremony uniform, Ralph Lauren introduced blue denim to the fold (Jeans. They’re jeans).
While Ralph Lauren doesn’t have a specific reason in their release, the look is supposed to be a slice of Americana to help top (or bottom) off the outfits.
Who are USA’s flagbearers in 2021?
The IOC has changed the flag bearer policy in 2021 to allow two flag bearers — one male, one female — per country in an effort to promote and support gender equality.
Women’s basketball icon Sue Bird, a now-five time Olympic athlete (four-time gold medalist), holds one of the flags for the United States. Bird is a 12-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time WNBA champion and a two-time NCAA champion. She is widely considered to be one of greatest women’s basketball players of all time.
Also holding a flag is Miami Marlins baseball player Eddy Alvarez. Alvarez, the son of Cuban immigrants, was voted as a flag bearer for the U.S. He becomes the first baseball player to become a flagbearer for the country. Alvarez also participated in the 2014 winter Olympics, competing — and winning a silver medal — as a speed skater.
How many Olympians does Team USA have in 2021?
In total, the United States is sending 621 Olympians to Tokyo, with those athletes representing 46 of the 50 states in the nation.
More than 400 athletes will be first-time Olympians this summer.