These are the Worst Olympic Uniforms of All Time


Russian Olympic athletes pose in their track suits during a presentation of newly designed sportswear for Russia's national team participating in the 2012 London Olympic Games, in Moscow June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS FASHION)

If death and taxes are the two certainties in life, then host city unpreparedness and abandoned venues are media certainties during Olympic years.

Since the Rio Games kicked off last weekend we’ve heard dick all of Zika, toxic oceans or muggings as media agencies consume themselves with vital athlete Tweet battles, harrowing stories of record condom use and Buzzfeed-type lists of what makes Michael Phelps laugh. Oh, and some actual medal coverage. Nothing like a little gold to wash away any shortcomings.

Of course, HUGE news this week has also been the “shock” state of disrepair many former Olympic venues are in. Pictures from the very same Reddit source are on websites the world over. But it’s a familiar narrative, one trotted out every two years. Thing is, those venues may be abandoned but even the Sarajevo 1984 venue-turned-warzone has held up better than most Bondi apartments.

And since we’re talking Bondi and the Olympics, the next logical step is to talk farshion. Olympic farshion. Another given, but we narrowed it down to Australia, Canada and the US, and compiled a definitive list of the best/worst.

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Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! No! No! No!

These grey-and-gold outfits were a sign of things to come for the first and last Australian Ice Hockey team at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, USA. The pin-stripe pants, jumper and beanie combo are reminiscent of Archie comics. The team lost consecutive matches 18-1 and 12-1, but at least the boys scored a free trip to the States. On a plane no less! Expect to see this look on Hall Street next winter.

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Oh, Canada

Canada’s always been accused of being 10 years behind the United States in fashion, but this London 2012 get-up is proof that time is slipping even further from the grasp of the Canucks. Jokes, this look’s actually from Barcelona in 1992 and if you look closely, you’ll see the pastel collage is matched perfectly with some OH&S-approved safety glasses.

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Giddy up, cowboy!

The cowboy hat is synonymous with… well, every country it seems. The US first braved the fashion police in 1984 with a Western look that’s said to have inspired the wardrobe for Brokeback Mountain.

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Then like Canada does, they followed suit – four years later – in 1988 adding a fit-inducing red with tassels.

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Not to be outdone, the 1992 Aussie team called on an old high school phys-ed teacher to put together the sensible shoes and socks look, combined with a floral holiday shirt tucked into dress shorts and a trusty Akubra. It was dad fashion at its finest.

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We’ll dress like english Professors in the year 2000

Our Olympic venues may still be in good use from Sydney 2000 but these relics have been long since forgotten, a fashion statement that’d have anyone begging for a Qantas hostie’s uniform. The outfits were supposed to represent our vast landscapes but insteadhighlighted a complete ineptitude for fashion. Double pluggers, stubbies and a fluoro workshirt would have been more dignified.

Stupid, sexy Flanders

The 1990s remain the most unique of decades of fashion – the rules were thrown out and anything and everything went. Including this US men’s biathlon outfit at the 1992 Winter Games in France – the last time the Winter Games were held the same year as the Summer ones. One can’t help but think The Simpsons took inspiration from the outfit, even if the above scene was aired some eight years later.

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Strictly RSL

Sick of RSL dress codes? Here are the Aussie Olympic outfits to blame from the 1984 Olympic Games. Most were burned immediately after the games but the surviving few made up Alf Stewart’s wardrobe for the best part of two decades. What have we learned? That next Olympics, we should just have run a nation-wide competition for school kids to design the uniforms. At least then we’d have an excuse.

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