Spyder and the U.S. Alpine Ski Team are excited to announce the unveiling of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic competition uniforms and race suit. The Ski Channel got a special preview of the US Olympic team uniforms at the opening of the SIA Snow Show in Denver, Colorado.
A sneak peak at SIA Tradeshow of the US Olympic uniform for Sochi 2014! Photos: Ski Channel| Shannon Quirk
The United States ski team will wear uniforms at the 2014 Winter Olympics designed by Boulder-based Spyder Active Sports.
“Spyder could not be more excited to see Ted Ligety, Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, Mikaela Shiffrin, Steven Nyman, and the rest of the alpine athletes wearing their uniforms in Sochi in front of millions of people across the globe,” said Jamie Starr from Spyder Active Sports.
“Knowing that we are on the best gear makes us feel comfortable and confident,” said U.S. Ski Team Member and Olympic Hopeful Steven Nyman. “ You could say Spyder gives us one of our biggest competitive advantages – they allow us to focus fully on our skiing because we know we have the equipment to stay safe while pushing the boundaries of speed.”
“One of the things I’ve realized about collaborating on downhill ski suits is they have to look and feel fast,” said Matt Strackbein, Spyder’s production art manager. “They have to give the athletes a degree of confidence when they put it on that they look like a rocketship, so now they’re going to perform like one.”
For these Winter Olympics, the design process has yielded Spyder’s most technologically advanced and perhaps most visually impactful uniform pieces to-date. Most notably, for the U.S. Ski Team Olympic Race Suit, the seventh Olympic Race Suit Spyder has designed for the U.S. Ski Team, Spyder has combined its ‘fastest in the world’ suit technology with a compelling, patriotic design story that directly references the famed Star-Spangled Banner.
According to the person responsible for the design, Spyder’s Production Art Manager Matt Strackbein, “when creating the [U.S. Ski Team Olympic] race suit graphics we knew it was crucial that the racers felt a sincere sense of patriotism, so we utilized ‘stars and stripes’ in a less traditional, more dynamic way … as important as it was to represent the U.S.A., it was equally important that the athletes look and feel fast. When I began the design process, I thought about times when I feel that same degree of patriotism and I immediately thought about the National Anthem, so I decided to use the song lyrics from the Star Spangled Banner for inspiration. Per the song, one of the most meaningful sightings of the American Flag happened the morning after Francis Scott key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. There, ‘by dawns early light,’ Key saw that ‘our flag was still there,’ albeit a much larger flag than the small storm-flag that had flown over the fort all night during the battle. But what stood out most upon reading the lyrics was that, because the air was so laden with smoke after the battle, Key recognized it rippling in the water off the edge of the ship on which he was being held captive.
“I tried to imagine what he was feeling in his heart at that moment – surely a deep sense of pride, not unlike the feeling an athlete must have when they win Olympic Gold. So, for the race suit, we used blue and white fades in the design to represent that early morning setting, and thinner red and white stripes to represent the flag rippling in the water. The goal was to capture as much of that imagery in the race suit as possible so that the U.S. Ski Team Athletes can potentially feel that heightened sense of hope, pride, courage and determination.”
Bill Marolt, President and CEO of the U.S. Ski Team, had the following to say about the long standing partnership between the U.S. Ski Team and Spyder:
“Spyder brings a great depth of experience with seven straight Olympics providing innovative technology in its competition suits to help our U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes achieve Best in the World performance.”