A socially-distanced crowd gathered at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal in anticipation. The grey skies that had persisted in the morning suddenly parted, unveiling blue skies and a blazing sun, a nod to the events about to unfold on land as some of Australia’s Olympic athletes gathered to unveil their new uniform for Tokyo 2021.
Even as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to stalk the world, countries are united in their hope that the Olympics goes ahead. The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics hit with devastating impact and for anyone who took the coronavirus lightly before such news headlines made their way around the world, this cancellation made it all the more significant. Marred by setback after setback, the Olympics have now been given the green light - albeit with adjustments. And now, Aussie athletes have unveiled a kit that will no doubt shine bright on the world stage as it sees them take on the best in the world.
The event, scheduled to get underway on July 21, will see Aussie athletes compete in 34 of the 37 events. With the Tokyo Games said to be one of the hottest on record, numerous considerations about climate and performance were taken into consideration by ASICS. As the Managing Director of ASICS Oceania explained, “The range you see today takes inspiration from the host city, and presents this in Australia’s iconic green and gold colour scheme, blending cool fabrics and design elements to enhance function and performance for our athletes.”
“We hope to see the uniform standing proud on the podiums in Tokyo in July.”
The designs were eye-catching and certainly saw the athletes take great pride in sporting them. But what was more significant was the Indigenous training shirt - designed by Australian boxer Paul Fleming - which will make its Olympic debut for the first time. Titled “Walking Together”, the shirt features 52 footsteps, indicative of the 52 Indigenous athletes who have competed for Australia at an Olympic level. The Australian Olympic Committee commissioned the Indigenous artist and former Olympic boxer to develop the artwork, with the athletic apparel company ASICS supplying the materials.
Also featured in the uniform unveiling was the first sport climbing design, modelled by Tom O’Halloran who will be representing Australia in the sport’s Olympic debut. Australian Olympic Committee Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said: “[The design] is absolutely world-class, it’s maximised the performance, and it also looks terrific.”
He added, “There will be millions of people cheering and watching back home for our athletes, and I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to see our team looking so good.”