Olympic Outfits - Sport Climbing Style at Tokyo 2020 Article

As we near the Tokyo 2020 Games, everyone's wondering "What will the climbers be wearing?" The answer - for both on and off the wall - is a mix of body-hugging Lycra, dodgy denim, designer couture and gaudy graphics. There'll be no baggy pants and patched-up down jackets in Tokyo. 

Olympic outfits.

Here's a look at what the 40 athletes from 19 different countries will be wearing on the wall and during ceremonial events (the ones they will be able to attend, at least). Some countries have bespoke climbing outfits designed by outdoor brands, while others have more generic kit supplied as part of their national Olympic team's sponsor, depending on exclusivity deals. 

Predictably, the climbing designs are more track and field than trad-attire, in-keeping with the growing general trend for athletic and gym-wear such as tight leggings and short shorts.

Great Britain (Shauna Coxsey)

Team GB's long-standing sponsor Adidas has designed one of the most eye-catching kits of the Tokyo Games (OK, we're biased, but still, they look cool). In addition to Adidas' sportswear, Ben Sherman revealed striking 1960s-inspired opening and closing ceremony designs.

United States (Kyra Condie, Brooke Raboutou, Nathaniel Coleman and Colin Duffy)

Ralph Lauren have controversially kitted-out Team USA for the opening and closing ceremonies. Outdoor and streetwear brand The North Face designed streamlined, bodyform outfits for Speed and looser-fitting vests and shorts for Boulder and Lead. 

Team USA women's Speed kit.  © The North Face
Team USA women's Speed kit.
© The North Face

Men's climbing kit.  © The North Face
Men's climbing kit.
© The North Face

Japan (Akiyo Noguchi, Miho Nonaka, Tomoa Narasaki and Kai Harada)

Another climbing-specific collection by The North Face, in addition to a parade outfit by Aoki and a loungewear collection by Asics, with an emphasis on recycled materials. 

France (Bassa Mawem, Mickael Mawem, Julia Chanourdie and Anouck Jaubert)

Adidas have kitted out the French climbers. Lacoste is supplying the more haute-couture parade wear.

Austria (Jakob Schubert and Jessy Pilz)

The North Face again, with bold red-white-red designs and yet more streamlined "windschnittig" (wind-cutting) bodysuits for Speed. 

Germany (Jan Hojer and Alexander Megos)

Adidas are the main kit supplier for Team Germany, but Edelrid are a partner of the German Climbing Team and will be supplying vests for Hojer and Megos. 

Russia (Iuliia Kaplina, Viktoriia Meshkova and Alexey Rubtsov)

Russia's neutral team of athletes will be wearing a collection by ZASPORT featuring the colours of their national flag, but not the flag itself. Here's Speed specialist Iuliia Kaplina strutting her stuff on the catwalk at the clothing launch. She won't be climbing in a dress, though - there is a range of tops, shorts and tracksuits featuring the same design. 

Italy (Laura Rogora, Michael Piccolruaz and Ludovico Fossali)

Emporio Armani (who else?) has designed Italy's Olympic parade costumes, while La Sportiva have continued their partnership with the Italian national climbing team to provide kit for Tokyo. 

Canada (Alannah Yip and Sean McColl)

Canada's opening and closing ceremony uniforms caused quite a stir on social media. The denim jacket complete with spray paint and scribbles from official Team Canada outfitter Hudson Bay raised eyebrows, but Alannah Yip and Sean McColl won't be climbing in denim. Canadian climbing apparel company Arc'Teryx has designed their vests, shorts and leggings. 

South Korea (Chaehyun Seo and Jongwon Chon)

The North Face have kitted-out Chaehyun Seo and Jongwon Chon in minimalist black and white pieces with a Korean twist, similar to the US and Japanese outfits. 

South Korean men's Speed suit.  © The North Face
South Korean men's Speed suit.
© The North Face

Australia (Tom O'Halloran and Oceana Mackenzie)

Asics have incorporated the iconic Aussie green and gold colours in their designs. Tom O'Halloran modelled the kit in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Poland - (Aleksandra Miroslaw)

Polish brand 4F are continuing their contract with Poland's Olympic Team. 

Spain (Alberto Ginés-López)

Spain are exclusively outfitted by home brand Joma. 

Kazakhstan - (Rishat Khaibullin)

Kazakhstan's approach to their kit design was a bit different. The Team KZ NOC launched an open design competition: "We want not only to get a memorable and functional outfit for our Olympians, but also to support talented artists and designers," a representative said. Nineteen participants submitted their works, and two were named winners. The final designs for sportswear and ceremonial use are yet to be released. 

China (YiLing Song and Yufei Pan)

Current China Climbing Team sponsor Kailas will be outfitting their two Olympic climbers in Tokyo 2020.

Switzerland (Petra Klingler)

Swiss companies Ochsner Sport and On Running (which Roger Federer co-owns) will provide their national Olympic Team with muted red/burgundy clothing. 

South Africa (Erin Sterkenburg and Christopher Cosser)

South Africa's Olympic Committee involved four young Durban-based designers in a collaboration with Mr Price Sport to provide both activewear and parade/loungewear. Erin Sterkenburg told UKC: "There's kit being specially made to fit Olympic regulations and climbing requirements. I haven't seen it yet but I'm excited for it!"

Slovenia (Janja Garnbret and Mia Krampl)

No.1 women's seed Janja Garnbret and her compatriot Mia Krampl will be wearing a collection designed by Peak.

Czech Republic (Adam Ondra)

Adam Ondra will be kitted-out in a combination of red white and blue numbers by Czech outdoor clothing company Alpine Pro, but he'll be climbing in a bespoke vest, according to his team.

Adam Ondra in his Czech Olympic Team kit.   ©
Adam Ondra in his Czech Olympic Team kit.

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Wot no Ron Hills!!!

Head firmly in hands and feeling old.

Climbing well in the road to becoming a sport where supporters wear replica shirts. We got into it because we couldn't bear football and rugby.

Fashion articles in our media, who is wearing what, who is sponsored by whom.

Thankfully the real world for me is far detached from this nonsense.

Please, in memoriam put team GB in Ron Hills, it is only right.

23 Jun

Maybe take up angling or trainspotting. Sounds like you might enjoy it for the same reasons you used to enjoy climbing.

Me, I actually like the climbing part of it. I get out of it what I've always got out of it, and what I always hope to. I don't get stressed about how other people relate to it because, really, it's not my concern.

I still love climbing very much John. As stated earlier, the real world for me is far detached from this.

Behaviours and capitalisation of the sport by advertisers and the media less so.

I do enjoy both angling and trainspotting thanks. Watch for my forthcoming article:

Adam Ondra's Gucci brown snorkel parka and bling thermos. 😁

24 Jun

"I chose something else, I chose to climb!" ?

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