Watch the film we made about London 2012: The VICE Guide to the Olympics
The Olympic Games are a chance for the greatest athletes in the world to showcase their abilities at digesting very strange drugs that make them jump higher, swim faster, and gymnastic more artfully than everybody else. At the same time, the Olympic Games are also an opportunity for every nation to showcase their ability to dress said athletes without making them look like utter fuck-ups on a weird stag or hen party holiday. And while certain nations with a fashion industry of their own (here's looking at you, Italy) end up looking pretty dapper, others don't.
Here's a list shaming those countries and the kits that have been stinking up the Olympics so far.
If there is a lot of excitement surrounding an event you're going to, chances are you'll spend a decent amount of time preceding it thinking about what to wear. And in much the same way you would never ask your best frenemy for advice, seeing as it is very likely they will not want you to look your best, you should never ask a Russian company to design your kit if you're Spain. But I guess Bosco's executives were very good at keeping a straight face when speaking to the Spanish Olympic Committee, and so this tracksuit came into being.
The "Liberace at the bullring" look must make Spain feel pretty self-conscious. I don't know if it's the sort of thing that would really put the athletes in a competitive state of mind. Maybe the double pepperoni T-shirt is the reason why the Spanish football team have already been knocked out? They just didn't want too many countries seeing them in a get-up that makes them look like a harlequin baby with sunburn.
BTW, Spain had the option to pay one of their own designers to create a kit for them, but went to Bosco in Russia to get it done for free seeing as they don't have enough Euros to spell the phrase "€cho d€ m€nos la p€s€ta" any more. Bosco have been having a proper laugh at this Olympics. Above is the tribal flight-attendant look they designed for the Ukraine. And I thought they were allies.
The horrible truth here is that Team GB are victims of nobody but themselves. Their tracksuits were designed by NEXT, which, as anyone who was raised by a child support-reliant single mother will know, is a bit like getting Gola to make all the trainers and buying sunglasses from George @ Asda.
Do you know anybody who shops at Next? It's like a bad joke. Imagine what the meeting was like when they came up with these hideous spacesuits. This abomination is not the result of one man's twisted vision, it is the result of a bunch of old folks sitting in a room trying to convince each other that hoodies are "in" and that we absolutely need to add some gold in there, if we have ANY medal aspirations. The offending item is so bad, Stella McCartney had to go on Twitter denying any involvement in it.
It's a good look for Bradley Wiggins, though. Where I'm from, in the UK, mods get harassed in the street by gangs of kids with anger problems and seemingly endless amounts of saliva. So this bit of inner-city camouflage might help convince the pissed 12-year-old girls that he's one of them. Either that or they'll be so weirded out by it that they'll just leave him the fuck alone.
Germany dressed their athletes like babies because that's what German people are: big, serious, gender-normative babies. Following this logic is actually to be applauded; it saves officials the trouble of checking for penises on Team Hun's terrifying lesbian cycle gang.
Military graduation uniforms were the mood choice for America. This made watching them come out at the Opening Ceremony a disorientating experience: the parade looked like the cast of a high-school movie post a social cleansing that had removed all the geeks and moody leather rock kids from the equation, leaving only the kind of jocks that would pin you down, teabag you, and call you a fag for daring to wear a V-neck. I assume this sounds pretty discriminatory, but I've watched enough late-night movies on ITV2 to know everyone should hate Americans that play sport.
Malaysia sorta looked like huge, tiger-striped Bananas in Pajamas with orange waistcoats. Which, to me, is exactly what the Olympic spirit is about; everything gathering together as one, engaging in friendly sporting competition, and dressing up like the things that made them wake up screaming in childhood nightmares.
TOGO AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Togo and Papua New Guinea were the only countries whose kits I envied. That said, I have been looking at this shirt for a while now and I have no idea what it's about. It's just green with some faux snakeskin pattern on it, OK? Quit acting like you've never seen that look done before.
And here's Papua New Guinea. I don't know how aware the people of PNG are of this fact, but tropical shirts are very much on trend. I guess cannibalizing those people is worth it if Prince Philip finally turns up with the cargo and kits you out looking realllllll nice.
Insulting the gravity of the event in the grossest way possible, the Czech Republic took the piss out of the UK's climate by wearing rain boots and holding umbrellas. Good one, Czech Republic, I think you should be taking the whole thing a little more seriously and maybe try hosting your own Olympics before having a dig at the my country, eh?
Nice hats, Lesotho. Just keep doing whatever it is that you do.
Canada's uniform was the least surprising. In fact, I'm almost certain that Canadians are born wearing chinos and zipper jumpers. In double fact, this picture is just a streetscape taken during rush hour in Toronto. My bad.
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