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Have Your Say: Let’s focus on the gold not the red
It’s been 24 hours since the revealing of the official Olympic and Paralympic kit and it’s fair to say it’s provoked some quite strong reactions. Here Sportsister’s Lizzie has her say.
27 July this summer and all eyes will be on Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they take to the global stage of the London 2012 Games.
Our 900 strong British team will make up the largest, best prepared, best equipped, best supported and most elite group of athletes to ever represent Great Britain.
The world’s eyes will be watching them, so we want them to not only be performing at their best, but also looking their best. We want them to walk out on to that track, that field, that court, that pool or that arena looking unified and making no mistake that they are Team GB.
I was so excited to see the official adidas kit be launched yesterday, the huge anticipation of a partnership between in my opinion, one of Britain’s finest designers Stella McCartney, and the official Olympic sponsors adidas.
From such leaders in their field, it is hard to expect anything less than perfection in their creation.
But to say that the revealing of the kit has caused a spark of controversy would be putting it a touch mildly.
Predominantly negative responses have swept the media and social network sites; Team GB’s Facebook page, where the kit was first revealed, has been inundated with outrage of what fans view as dull, lifeless and “rather more Scottish than British” kit.
The most common thread? The lack of red. And I would agree.
On first glance I was disappointed to see the colour scheme; the equal measure of red, white and blue is such an iconic image of Great Britain it seemed a shame to strip that.
McCartney said at the launch that “the first place to start on a project like this is to look at the Union flag…one of the most beautiful flags in the world.
“It was important for me to stay true to that iconic design but also to modernize it and present it in a contemporary way.”
This approach in my mind is faultless for our Olympic and Paralympic teams, but I’ll be honest, I question her delivery.
I want our athletes to look truly and unmistakenly British; their kit screaming red, white and blue as they stand side by side amongst the world’s leading athletes, but the obvious lack of red, for me, unfortunately takes this away.
The tracksuit top aside, which I believe is a beautiful looking piece of clothing, the kit and the flag included, is an array of various blue tones with only red as a trim and as a result I think it looks dark and uninspiring with a lack of vibrancy and life.
McCartney’s response to such criticism of her colour scheme she tweeted, “I see many feel as strongly about the Union flag as I do! The design actually uses more red & shows more flag than any Team GB kit since ’84.”
But, 24 hours later, I have viewed it many times and found myself in many conversations about it and I’ve come to the conclusion that if Stella had in fact created a safe, predictable piece of kit I can promise you, I would be the first to complain that it lacked creativity and uniqueness.
The most important thing is that the athletes themselves are happy with the clothing, and from positive response it appears that they are and I couldn’t agree more with the perspective given by heptathlete Kelly Sotherton as she says, “I don’t care what the kit looks like as long as I get the chance to actually compete in it!”
I have no doubt that our British athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year will do us proud, they will break records and they will win medals and by then I bet not one headline or fan will care about the lack of red on the British flag.
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
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