Team USA: Dressed Like Champions

Friday, February 12, 2010

(Team USA sports Ralph Lauren at Opening Ceremonies for 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver)

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off Thursday night in New York City, but as American designers showcase their latest collections and sip champagne at posh “post-fashion show” shindigs, our neighbors up north host an even bigger party: The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

As models walk the catwalk, athletes who trained their whole lives enter the stadium during the opening ceremonies representing their country as one of the best in the world. For many athletes, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Unless the athlete is a top contender for a gold medal… that pan shot in the “parade of nations” may be the only moment they get on television. There’s no question that during that brief shining moment… they’ll want to look their best.

(Team USA takes their walk at 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing)

In years past… it’s been a hit and miss for Team USA, but ever since the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing… the athletes look pretty sharp, and with good reason. After receiving mixed reviews entering the world stage, the US Olympic Committee enlisted the help of American fashion legend, Ralph Lauren.

There are plenty of great designers with outstanding collections featured at Fashion Week, Vera Wang's breathtaking designs not only graced the catwalk and red carpet, but the ice skating rink. In fact, her designs earned her a spot in the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

(Olympic Silver-Medalist Nancy Kerrigan in Vera Wang figure skating dress encrusted in Swarovski crystals)

As much as I love Vera Wang’s costumes for US Figure Skaters like Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan, I don’t think anything says “All-American” more than the Polo Ralph Lauren label. The style, cut, and construction of his garments are perfect for athletes.

(Team USA Closing Ceremonies Ensemble by Ralph Lauren)

Many people would assume dressing athletes is easy. They’re toned, fit, clean-cut, and for the most part… good-looking, but designing an outfit that’s flattering to hundreds of people who range from petite to hefty is no easy feat. And I’m sure many fashion-enthusiasts will agree, if you’re looking for someone who makes red, white, and blue look good… Ralph Lauren is your “go-to” guy.

The opening and closing ceremony outfits are available for purchase on the Ralph Lauren website, but be advised: dressing like a champion comes at a pretty penny. Although Polo keeps a tight lip on the deal, the Wall Street Journal says the US Olympic Committee has negotiated a deal with Ralph Lauren to dress Team USA for the 2012 Summer Games in London. So as athletes strut through the fashion-forward city… land of Burberry, Stella McCartney, and Dior’s John Galliano… they can keep doing the catwalk.


Priscilla Luong once had Olympic dreams and visions of donning a Vera Wang figure skating costume of her own. Like many Asian-American girls, she idolized Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan. In fact… Priscilla was so inspired, she took figure skating lessons, and soon found out, that she was the sorriest sight you’d ever see on ice skates. If you’d like to give her ice skating lessons or share her love for Team USA ice dancing pair, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, e-mail her at


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