Team GB flag fury is just the latest Olympic kit controversy

Athletes with embarrasing kits stand together

From ‘dizzy designs’ to an ‘accentuated crotch’ – kit drama is an unofficial fixture of the Olympic Games (Picture: Katie Ingam)

This week, the British Olympic Association (BOA) came under fire after changing the traditional colour of the Union flag.

Shades of pink and sky blue were incorporated into a new design, in a bid to rejigg the traditional red, white and blue.

British javelin star Fatima Whitbread was left ‘disgusted’ at the changes while former England keeper Peter Shilton fumed: ‘nothing is sacred’ in response to the news.

The backlash came after a change to the St George’s Cross on England’s Euro 2024 kit caused similar uproar in March, after Nike had added a ‘playful update’ via the means of purple and blue stripes. Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer were united in their disapproval and called for the design to be changed.

Meanwhile Labour’s shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry had told Sky News: ‘You wouldn’t expect Nike to go off and have a look at the Welsh flag and decide to change the dragon to a pussycat.’

As pitchforks continue to be sharpened in relation to the decision to change colours on a piece of fabric, we look back at kit controversies, scandals and gaffes from across the sporting world.

No doubt, there will be more to add to the list this summer, when the Paris Summer Olympics start on July 26.

2012: Team GB’s Stella McCartney kit deemed ‘too Scottish’

Sir Chris Hoy celebrates winning Gold in the Men’s Keirin Track Cycling Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 7, 2012(Picture: by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Stella McCartney’s Team GB design received backlash the moment it was released in 2012. The final product was ‘too blue’ in the eyes of critics, with the red confined to socks and collars.

Others felt it was ‘more Scottish than British.’ Perhaps a premonition, as the 2012 games did result in a wave of Scottish success, with the likes of tennis player Andy Murray, rower Katherine Grainger and track cyclist Chris Hoy winning gold.

McCartney had brushed off the backlash to her kits and explained the design challenges involved in creating a design for 900 athletes across 46 sports. She said Tom Daley’s ‘little thing’ for diving, for example, meant ‘there wasn’t a lot of space to work with.’

2012: Spain kits branded ‘Olympic kit horror show’

If the IOC cancels #Tokyo2020 the world will never get to see if Spain can better their 2012 official Olympic kit. Doubtful, but there’s always hope.

— George Shepherd (@shepsong) June 11, 2021

In 2012, Spain’s Olympic Committee (COE) had worked with a Russian company Bosco who had, bizarrely, offered to design the Spanish uniform for free. At a time when Europe was gripped by the financial crisis, the sporting authorities gladly accepted the offer of a freebie. 

They perhaps were not expecting the final result, a messy mix …read more

Source:: Metro


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