Columbia develops freestyle ski team uniforms

14 Jan '18
3 min read

Columbia Sportswear has developed freestyle ski team uniforms to be worn by athletes from the US and other nations in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Every piece is aimed at high performance, innovation and national pride. Each kit features fresh aesthetics coupled with new technologies developed for the unique needs of these athletes.

Every piece was executed with three design cues in mind—high performance, innovation and national pride. Each distinct kit features fresh aesthetics coupled with new technologies developed specifically for the unique needs of these elite athletes.

Columbia has a strong history of developing high performance uniforms and previously designed US freestyle uniforms for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. Columbia uniforms in the Sochi Games were worn by nine athletes from several countries who achieved medal wins, a tally that included three gold medals. Feedback and insights from working closely with these dedicated athletes has driven Columbia’s broader ski collections to new heights for the past several seasons.

“Olympic athletes are among the world’s most elite competitors. Columbia’s partnership with these teams has not only inspired our designers to create the most technical, innovative, and best performing products, but it has also provided insights throughout our winter collections,” said Columbia president Joe Boyle. “We are proud of this collaboration and wish each team great success in PyeongChang.”

At the heart of the 2018 freestyle ski team uniforms is OutDry Extreme, Columbia’s solution for maximum waterproof protection and exceptional mobility. The ground-breaking membrane places a durable, permanent waterproof layer that actively repels water to ensure the athletes stay completely dry and comfortable. The uniforms feature the latest iteration of OutDry Extreme, and offers four way stretch to ensure the skiers have a complete range of motion. The uniforms are also lined with a fresh application of Omni-Heat Reflective, designed for lightweight, breathable warmth. These innovations deliver athletes more warmth with less bulk and offer the critical mobility and unrestricted movement needed to take home the gold.

Six countries will compete in the 2018 Games wearing uniforms designed by Columbia: The United States, Canada, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Brazil and the Ukraine. These athletes will face each other in the moguls, aerials, slopestyle and halfpipe events.

Additional technical features include a unique snow camouflage pattern designed to help mask body movement—a key judging component—for moguls skiers. The technical trims package includes a Columbia-designed, ultra-lightweight and low-profile Light Rail zipper. This unique zipper is bonded directly onto laser-cut fabric, completely eliminating the need for zipper tape resulting in Columbia’s lightest-weight waterproof zipper.

But technology is only part of the story—fresh graphics, prints and trims capture the energy and history that have been a part of the games for decades, while also taking into consideration each country’s distinct iconography. Customisable components like knee patches, nameplates, and removable features allow the athletes to make the uniform their own without compromising the cohesive look of their national team.

“It’s a unique opportunity to work closely with a brand and see your input come to fruition,” said Troy Murphy, a member of the US Ski Team. “We spend countless hours on the mountain in a wide variety of conditions. It’s awesome that we can give our feedback to Columbia and have them hand us a uniform the next season that reflects our input.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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