Saturday, July 28, 2012
The London Olympics Kicks Off
It's always interesting to see how the countries dress their athletes for the ceremonies. Some go for fashion and others go for a traditional national costume. Listed below are the countries I considered to be the best in this category and those who were the worst. The United States didn't fall into either category this year. Their Ralph Lauren-designed (and Chinese-made) uniforms were rather ordinary -- except for the berets, which were downright silly looking.
I first want to say that NBC did a very poor job of covering the parade of nations. They spent far too much time going to commercials, and when they came back just gave quick snapshots of the countries that had entered while they were making money on commercials. Even when they were showing the countries entering, the camera spent far too much time on the flag-bearer and not enough time showing the athletes. NBC should be ashamed of their coverage.
But I was still able to see some good and a lot of bad. Here are my choices for the best and worst dressed athletes in the opening ceremonies. If you disagree, I'd love for you to comment.
American Samoa -- They chose traditional dress, but did it in very nice shades of brown and gold. It looked very good.
Belarus -- These athletes wore white suits and hats. That may not sound exciting, but they made it look very classy.
Cameroon -- These athletes wore traditional African dashikis of black, red, and yellow. It was striking and beautiful.
North Korea -- They were dressed in dark suit coats, gray pants/skirts, and red ties. Clean & sharp.
Finland -- I normally don't like sweat suits in the opening ceremonies, but Finland did this well. The tops were an abstract design of black and white, and the pants were white. It was informal and classy at the same time.
Grenada -- They wore dark green sports jackets over light green shirts and black pants/skirts. Nice.
Italy -- The Italians wore nicely tailored dark blue suits with striped ties. The Italians just know how to make a suit look good.
Japan -- I normally hate red sports coats, but the Japanese were able to make them look good. They wore them over white shirts and pants/skirts.
Latvia -- They also did red and white, but the red was a darker shade. The women wore white jackets over red skirts, while the men wore red jackets over white pants.
Mali -- They were dressed in completely white dashikis. It made a very striking appearance.
Bermuda -- I realize they are famous for Bermuda shorts, but black sports coats over red shorts was just appalling.
Canada -- Tan pants with red jackets, and the jackets had a big white stripe on the front with the word "Canada" written on it. The Canadians didn't even try for a fashionable look.
China -- Red sports coats with yellow trim. I know those are the colors of their flag, but they are not colors that should ever be put together on a sports coat. They looked cheap.
Cuba -- Bright yellow sports coats and black pants/skirts. They looked like walking road signs.
Czech Republic -- The white shorts and dark jackets might have been passable, if they had not been worn with shiny blue boots. Atrocious.
Germany -- They usually look good, but the pink jackets for the women and blue jackets for the men, worn over white, just didn't work. Disappointing.
Guyana -- Bright yellow suits with red ties. Looked like a group of smiley faces with red ties. Awful.
Mexico -- Each athlete was dressed differently in loud colors and designs. Extremely gaudy.
Spain -- More mixing of red and yellow, and it didn't work any better for Spain than it did for China.
Great Britain -- This was perhaps the most disappointing. You expect the host nation to look good, and the Brits usually do. But they looked awful this time, with ugly white jackets made even uglier by large gold collars. And some athletes wore shots while others wore pants stopping just below the knee. Unbelievably ugly.
That's what I think. If you watched the opening ceremonies, I'd love to know what you think. Am I on target or off base?