The parade of nations is one of the highlights from any Olympic opening ceremony, and this morning’s from Pyeongchang, South Korea was no different. It ought to be renamed the runway of nations, because it really is a chance for countries to highlight not only homegrown talent and designers, but cultural traditions, history and even quirks.
Canada’s uniforms certainly are memorable Olympiad after Olympiad, with many items selling (and selling out) at Hudson’s Bay. Who didn’t have those iconic red mittens from Vancouver 2010?
This year, there are just as many bold looks (and shades of neon) as ever, from Columbia’s glorified ponchos to Nigeria’s Emerald City-inspired cloaks. But of the 92 countries, here is our round-up of some of the most notable looks from the 2018 Olympics’ opening ceremony, starting with, of course Canada’s.
It might seem more than a little self-congratulatory to say Team Canada just so happened to be sporting the most fashionable and comfortable ensembles at the opening ceremony, but with coordinated and bold red, white and black hoodies, jackets and lumberjack flannels, what more can one say? With a restrained and yet very effective use of the maple leaf, it’s a wardrobe that’s beautifully bringing the Canadian winter to South Korea (not that its already sub-zero temps need it).
Sometimes less really is more! Tonga’s flag bearer’s reputation precedes him. Pita Taufatofua made waves in 2016 in Brazil where he was also Tonga’s flag bearer — and where he also bared his oily torso during the parade of nations. At the Summer Games, he was the first athlete to ever represent Tonga in taekwondo. Less than two years later, he is representing Tonga again, and yet again making history as the country’s first athlete to ever compete in the cross-country ski event. We are so glad he is such a well-rounded athlete and look forward to seeing him bear Tonga’s flag in 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030 …
Bonus: He’s on Instagram.
There’s nothing too special about the knee-length sky-blue parkas the athletes from Kazakhstan wore, but it’s the country’s flag bearer, Abzal Azhgaliyev, who caught our eye. His white and gold number was so regal and so elegant — and the fur trims and hat were an extra special touch that classed it right up.
Designed by Ralph Lauren, the navy blue-red-white get-ups the Americans wear at the Olympics are Classic U.S. of A. This year’s functional and fashionable uniforms for Pyeongchang are particularly interesting because the jackets are outfitted with heaters that can keep athletes warm for up to 11 hours on a single charge. But perfection is no easy mission. Team USA also happens to be boasting a pair of what one might call Wild West-inspired gloves, which is just fine if you want to feel like your hand is resting inside the carcass of a bear. Sounds warm!
Sure, there were generous pops of salmon, but they were literally just suits. Lazy!
As if gearing up for a geriatric round of polo, Bermuda stepped out with red scarves, racy, bright red shorts to match and kneecaps daringly bare. It was a rather chilly choice in the midst of the South Korean winter, but if anything screams strength and resilience, it’s this. If you happen to catch an uptick in knee-high sock sales post-Olympics, you’ll know why.