Columbia Sportswear Company a global leader in active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, unveiled the 2014 Olympic uniforms for the U.S., Canadian and Russian Freestyle Ski teams.
Custom designed for each country from the ground up, the uniforms deliver warmth, protection and performance with fresh aesthetics and new technologies developed specifically for the unique needs of these elite athletes.
After a successful sponsorship of the powerhouse Canadian freestyle ski team during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, expanding Columbia's support to include the equally formidable U.S. and Russian teams was a natural evolution for the global brand.
"We applaud the dedication and talent of all athletes who have trained for years in preparation to deliver their best performances when it matters most," said Columbia's President and Chief Executive Officer, Tim Boyle.
"Our design teams drew inspiration directly from the U.S., Canadian and Russian athletes and their diverse national cultures in designing these competitive team uniforms, incorporating everything we've learned in our first 75 years of trying stuff in an effort to enhance their performance. We wish each of them great success in Sochi."
At the heart of the uniforms, Columbia's patented Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology delivers more warmth with less bulk, providing athletes critical mobility and unrestricted movement without compromising comfort.
Columbia's design team engaged directly with the athletes to gain insight into how the uniforms could enhance performance. "We were incredibly impressed with the level of interaction we had with Columbia's design team," said U.S. freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie.
"They met with us several times and genuinely wanted to learn about what we needed. To be included in the design process like that was fantastic—that is exactly what it takes to create world-class uniforms like these."
Based on extensive athlete input, Columbia's design team integrated a slew of innovative details such as a unique snow camouflage pattern to help mask body movement—a key judging component—for moguls skiers. The uniforms also feature a patent-pending Columbia-designed ultra-lightweight and low-profile LightRail Zipper which is bonded directly onto laser-cut fabric, completely eliminating the need for zipper tape and resulting in the lightest-weight waterproof zipper in the world.
But technology is only part of the story—fresh graphics and prints reflect unexpected and inspiring energy while honoring each country's distinct iconography. Customizable components like interchangeable shoulder patches, custom nameplates, and removable pockets allow the athletes to make the uniform their own without compromising the cohesive look of the team.
Columbia's uniforms will be worn by national athletes competing in the following events:
- United States: Moguls and Aerials
- Canada: Moguls, Aerials, Slopestyle and Half Pipe
- Russia: Moguls, Aerials, Slopestyle, Half Pipe, and Skicross.
Columbia, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company, has been creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts since 1938. Columbia has become a leading global brand by channeling the company's passion for the outdoors, and an innovative spirit of "trying stuff", into technologies and performance products that keep people warm, dry, cool and protected year-round.