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Team GB play it safe with Paris 2024 Olympics kit

Team GB's Paris Olympics kit 2024: What are the British athletes wearing?
The Adidas-designed kit for the Paris Games features plenty of dark blue

Great Britain have stuck with traditional colours – and gone for a striking navy blue backdrop – in their official Olympic and Paralympic kits that preserve the traditional red, white and blue Union flags.

It followed a backlash earlier this month over the sale of Olympic merchandise to fans which were branded as ‘Union Jack’ flags but contained dots and squiggles as well as a colour scheme that veered into pinks and purples.

The newly-revealed Adidas team kit adopts a much more conservative tone, although the striking predominance of dark blue at this summer’s Paris Olympics represents a shift from recent competition kits that have generally been set on a white backdrop.

The tracksuits which will be worn on the podium, however, are in a white base and will have the Union flag on the arm.

This, according to Adidas, will result “in a clean radiant kit that allows the medals to shine”. The press release also claimed that the kit would “unite all athletes with fresh interpretations of Great Britain’s distinctive identity”.

Diver Tom Daley, who will be competing at his fifth consecutive Olympics in Paris, gave the new design his immediate endorsement. “I can genuinely say that nothing compares to competing in my Team GB kit, knowing that all the training I’ve done is gearing towards hopefully winning a medal for my country,” he said. “This new kit totally sums up that special feeling and I cannot wait to wear it in Paris this summer.”

The kit, unveiled in Paris, will also use a typeface that has been inspired by the 1924 Games in the French capital 100 years ago when Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the gold medals that inspired the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire movie. Adidas even claim that athletes will “feel the passion” rising from a typeface which features ‘tactile graphics’.

“Embracing tradition while injecting newness, Team GB and Paralympics GB competition wear builds around the classic British red, white and blue; integrating this iconic colorway in an effortlessly simple way to connect a new generation of fans to the passion of the athlete,” declared Adidas in launching the kit.

Taekwondo athlete Bianca Walkden models the GB training kit
Taekwondo athlete Bianca Walkden models the GB training kit
British diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix in competition wear
British diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix in competition wear

The German sportswear brand is providing kit for 15 teams in Paris this summer and, of the British design, which was completed two years ago in consultation with Team GB, it added: “A color blocking approach means fiery red and brilliant white accents playfully pop – during movement – against a clean, dark navy base that provides the perfect canvas to unite athletes across many sports.

“The look is completed thanks to striking white lion head graphics of Team GB and Paralympics GB logos that stand proudly on the chests of athletes as they represent this proud sporting nation.”

Livvy Breen, a Paralympic medallist in the sprint relay and long jump, said: “I love the new kit, especially the pops of colour and what they represent – it feels really fresh”.

British Olympian Katherine Merry, who won bronze in the 400m at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, told The Telegraph: “I like it, they have definitely gone for a classic retro look and kept things simple.

”If the athletes feel good it can only help with their mindset, but ultimately they are there to compete and the sign of a good design is if you don’t notice what you are wearing.   

“I don’t actually remember the full design of the Team GB kit we wore in Sydney,  but I do remember the feeling of winning a bronze medal.”

The BOA has separately collaborated with the Bath-based design company Thisaway on their new fan merchandise.

Flags, bunting and water bottles were launched last June in a different colour scheme and provoked criticism following the outrage over the changed St George’s Cross flag on the collar of the England football shirt for Euro 2024.

A supporters flag featuring the 'Union Jack' in different colour shades, which provoked such a backlash
A supporters flag featuring the 'Union Jack' in different colour shades, which provoked such a backlash

The new flags, which have been controversially branded as ‘Paris Union Jack Supporters Flag’, have sold out after going on sale in the official Team GB shop for £12. The bunting, which claims to be a ‘Union Jack pattern’, costs £13 and the sold out metal water bottles in the new design colours retail at £17.50.


Hawaiian shirts, flower patterns and a Union flag – Great Britain’s ceremony kit unveiled

By Jeremy Wilson

Hawaiian shirts and a four-nation floral design feature in a British Olympic uniform that includes the Union flag for the opening and closing ceremonies in Paris this summer.

With just over 10 weeks until a four-hour opening ceremony scheduled to take place along the River Seine, Team GB have revealed new Ben Sherman outfits that will be worn by its team for the first big showpiece occasion of the Games.

For the opening ceremony, a floral motif will include a rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock on the back of team jackets in recognition of the identities and histories of each of the four nations.

The bomber jackets are otherwise in the traditional red, white and blue colours and have a union flag embroidered on the arm.

An even bolder design has been unveiled for the closing ceremony, which will again include the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock and the letters GB but in the multicolour style of a 1970s Hawaiian shirt.

White socks and knitted polo shirts, with a union jack split in blue and red iterations, will also feature in a uniform that includes a traditional Union flag on the bottom of the chino trousers and on the front of the jackets.

Rachel Terrace, the chief brand officer of Ben Sherman, said that it was a moment when the nation would be “uniquely united”

Tim Ellerton, commercial director at Team GB, added: “We’ve been working closely with Ben Sherman and some of the Team GB athletes to develop the designs for the ceremony wear over the past two years, and it’s brilliant to see them brought to life with a bright, fresh range that celebrates tradition whilst also being contemporary and fun.”

Great Britain have stuck with traditional colours – and gone for a striking navy blue backdrop – in their official Adidas team kits that preserve the traditional red, white and blue union flags. It followed a backlash earlier last month over the sale of Olympic merchandise to fans which were branded as ‘union jack’ flags but contained dots and squiggles as well as a colour scheme that veered into pinks and purples.


What other countries are wearing, including USA’s controversial kit

Nike’s unveiling of Team USA’s Olympic kit sparked a sexism storm with its track and field kits coming under fire for leaving female athletes ‘exposed’. While athletes get multiple kit options to choose from, one particular design shown on a mannequin – a leotard featuring a high-cut pelvic region – triggered criticism. United States Track and Field said the uniforms revealed were only two of many options available, while athletes later said the picture of the mannequin itself had not done the outfit justice.

Hosts France have had their kit designed by renowned artistic director Stéphane Ashpool, and produced by French sportswear brand Le Coq Sportif. Ashpool’s designs pay homage to both the athletes and the vibrant city of Paris, where his creativity first flourished.

Canada have partnered with Lululemon for their Paris outfits, with the nation’s red and white colours instantly recognisable, across a high-tech design focusing on thermal comfort while paying homage to the country’s indigenous heritage.

Team Canada athletes in their new Olympics outfit
Team Canada athletes in their new Olympics outfit - Reuters/Carlos Osorio

Australia’s new Olympic uniforms were unveiled in Sydney in March, and feature the work of Indigenous artists. Designs by the artist and boxer Paul Fleming and Torres Strait Islander artist David Bosun are included. For the first time, Australian athletes will be able to wear uniform dresses around Olympic venues when not competing.

Athletes during the launch of the Australian Olympic Team uniform in Sydney
Athletes during the launch of the Australian Olympic team uniform in Sydney - AAP

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