Over the weekend at an event held at the Canada Sport’s Hall of Fame in Calgary, Columbia Sportswear unveiled the new freestyle ski team uniforms that will be worn by athletes from the U.S. and other nations competing in the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The uniforms incorporate not only the latest technology from Columbia but also unique design hits that focus on the national pride of each athlete.
The freestyle ski team uniforms are built around Columbia’s continuing evolution of OutDry Extreme. This time the outer permanent beading layer is laminated to a four-way stretch fabric to ensure the skiers have complete range of motion while protecting them from either rainy or snowy conditions in Korea. All of us that tried on the jackets later that day remarked on how light and stretchy they felt, with no resistance in the shoulders when you move your arms.
The uniforms are also lined with Omni-Heat Reflective for extra warmth. But as this is the Olympics, the little silver dots are not only placed on a gold backing fabric, but also include a reflective emblem that perfectly represents each country. For example, the Canadian uniforms incorporate a moose and the US, an eagle.
Other design features include Columbia’s Lightrail Zipper — a flexible laser-cut zipper that is bonded directly onto the garment shell fabric — which eliminates both weight and extra bulk that could lead to bunching. These include gold zippers pulls for further subliminal confidence boosters.
As moguls is a judged sport, the mogul skiers get white pants with snow camo to help camouflage any unwanted movement in their legs during each run. I spoke with Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney about her thoughts on the snow camo and she said that every little bit helps, even if it’s simply to give you a psychological edge over your competitors.
Six countries will compete in the 2018 Games wearing uniforms designed by Columbia –The United States, Canada, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Brazil and the Ukraine. Events will include moguls, aerials, slopestyle and halfpipe.