With the 2012 Summer Olympics in London coming up, everyone is excited to see the Opening Ceremony kick off the Summer Games on July 27. One of the most anticipated events of the Opening Ceremony is the "Parade of Nations," the marching of the athletes from all of the participating countries. During the Parade of Nations, we've seen some pretty weird outfits over the years, but we've seen some pretty good ones, too.
Here are my top five outfits of Summer Olympics history:
America, my home team, has worn some pretty cute outfits during the Opening Ceremony of many Olympics, but my favorite outfit is from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. During the Parade of Nations, the women of Team USA came out wearing navy blue skirts, while the men wore navy blue slacks, and both wore red shirts with the Olympic rings, matching blue sweater jackets, and blue sports berets. I thought this look was very chic and sophisticated.
The athletes from The Netherlands were looking tres tres chic during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Unlike a lot of the athletes, who sport typical sports gear, Team Netherlands made the Parade of Nations more classy by wearing sleek gray suits and orange ties. While some fashionistas criticized the look, I liked it. A man can never go wrong wearing a nice suit.
When the Olympic team from Australia came out wearing safari outfits during the Opening Ceremony of the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, people either loved it or hated it. I happened to love it. I think the whole spirit of the Games, the Parade of Nations especially, is to express pride in one's culture. People expect to see outfits that are representative of the team's nation. The Olympic Games are a time for public nationalism.
As I said, athletes should wear clothes that represent their cultures during the Opening Ceremony, so berets on Team France worked perfectly. In addition to the berets, for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the athletes from France wore stylish red waist belts over white tunics- perhaps as a nod to the host country. France definitely won the gold for fashion during the 2008 Parade of Nations.
Most of the media outlets criticized Team USA for wearing track suits for the Opening Ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Calif. I happen to like the track suits that were designed by Levi Strauss. Sometimes the outfits for the Opening Ceremony get too formal -- do you remember France's 1976 outfits? It's not always necessary to look as though you're going to a cocktail party or brunch with the Queen -- I mean, it's the Olympic Games.
After taking a sneek peek at some of the outfits that the world's athletes are going to wear at the Opening Ceremony's Parade of Nations during the London Olympics, I can say with certainty that we are definitely going to see some cool garbs this year.
Ruqaiyya Noor is a student English teacher at Marshall University and a featured contributor for education. She is an avid Olympics fan and can be found glued to the television for the entirety of the Olympic Games.