#SwimTrends: Fast Fashion, What the Athletes Are Wearing in Rio 2016

WhoAreYouWearing649In addition to the greatest sports spectacle in the world, the Olympic Games is also a launch party for new TV commercials and for apparel and suit manufacturers. There is an eye for fashion and making the athletes look great out of the water as well.

However, it can get confusing as to what athletes wear and when they wear it. So, just like the red carpet at the Oscars, we ask, “Who are you wearing?”

Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

arena kitArena is the official outfitter of the USA Swimming National Team, so athletes wear this when walking out onto the pool deck for athlete introductions, team pictures and other team functions. This is often called their “kit” internationally.

arena - uaA new addition to the USA Swimming uniform includes running shoes from Under Armour. Michael Phelps’ relationship with Under Armour helped clear the lane for this to happen for Rio.

Opening Ceremony Rio 2016 Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 05: Michael Phelps of the United States carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Attire for the Opening & Closing ceremony is called “Parade” attire and this is provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee from Polo Ralph Lauren.

nike - podium 4x100 relay

on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

When U.S. Olympic Team athletes (across all U.S. sports) reach the awards stand they wear the “podium” attire provided by Nike and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The water shield logo above was created by USA Swimming as the IOC does not allow the use of the National Governing Body mark (i.e., the USA Swimming shield) on outfitting at the Olympic Games. This mark is used specifically for the Olympic Team and started in 2008.

In the water, athletes can wear their suit manufacturer of choice as long as logo sizes meet certain size requirements, such as a 30 cm2 logo on the suit and 20cm2 logo on the cap. Swimming has some of the most athlete-friendly rules on competitive apparel and athletes can swim in whatever they feel is fastest!


Use the #SwimTrends hashtag and be a Swim Trend Spotter yourself and let me know what you think is important for this column and online.

Matt Farrell is the Chief Marketing Officer of USA Swimming. Follow and share your #SwimTrends using the hashtag or tagging @MattFarrell_ on Twitter.


Categories: Olympics

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1 reply

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