Team Canada goes for cool factor in Paris Games kit

Team Canada unveiled the kit athletes will wear at this year's Paris Olympics on Tuesday, a high-tech design focusing on thermal comfort while paying homage to the country's indigenous heritage.

In designing their first Summer Games collection, Lululemon (LULU.O) said it leaned heavily on product testing and feedback from 19 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes across 14 different sports, including gold medal hopes such as tennis player Leylah Fernandez, decathlete Damian Warner and swimmer Summer McIntosh.

Top of athletes' concerns was having outfits that work well in the Paris heat and humidity followed by fit and function. The Games are set to run from July 26 to Aug. 11.

"For the most part they really love the designs we created for them," Sun Choe, Lululemon's chief product officer, told Reuters. "The story telling behind the prints we created is very authentic and intentional.

"But mostly their concerns were how are you going to solve for how hot it is going to be, how different the temperatures might be at night, inside or outside so we wanted to make sure we took those things into consideration.

"We heard from athletes that comfort was key to being in the right head space throughout their day at the Games."

Taking over from the Hudson's Bay Company as Canada's Olympic and Paralympic outfitter from the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Paris will be the Canadian athletic and leisure apparel giant's first attempt at a summer kit which includes outfits for the opening and closing ceremony, medal ceremonies and another for media appearances.

The outfits athletes will actually compete in are determined by each sport's national governing body.

As a Vancouver based company creating a collection for a Canadian Olympic team Choe said another key to the design was tapping into the country's culture and iconic images from the maple leaf to orcas.

The print design used in the closing ceremony outfit was done in collaboration with First Nation artist Mason Mashon and inspired by the aurora borealis.

Lululemon has also designed Future Legacy Items that include ball caps, scarves and belt bags of which 10% of all sales will go to the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Paralympic Foundation.

"Pride in nation, national pride, no matter what gets designed with our official outfitters it is very important that it represents Canada, what we want to see represented at the Olympic and Paralympic Games and I think they did a marvellous job," Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker told Reuters.

"And obviously the Future Legacy items are very important because 10% will be in the millions of dollars."

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt