The 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games begin Friday, July 23, and billions of people will tune in to see the world’s best athletes go head-to-head. It’s thrilling to watch top-tier talent compete for national and personal pride as they try to prove themselves one of the greatest of all time.
Fans of each country will be gripped to their TV sets, watching their heroes strive for as much victory as they can grab. Of course, there will be a few who want to mimic their country’s stars, or perhaps wear their pride on their sleeves. We can’t all be Olympic athletes, but thanks to Ralph Lauren, Nike and others, we can at least cop some Olympic style.
Where exactly can you shop for gold-medal looks? We’ve put together a list of athletic and fashion brands outfitting the best in the world. It won’t make you run faster or jump higher, but it will make you look darn good.
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Ralph Lauren has been the designer of the U.S.A.’s Opening Ceremony uniforms since the 2008 Olympics, and the company may have outdone itself this year. These jackets actually “cool” the wearer with a system designed out of Silicon Valley called “RL Cooling.” T-shirts, jeans, belts and Ralph Lauren’s trademark Polos embody the spirit of America as athletes compete for titles across the board.
Athleta made headlines for its sponsorship and support of female athletes. Among their flock are Allyson Felix, who’s tied for most-decorated female Olympian in track and field history, as well as star gymnast Simone Biles, who joined the company earlier this year. Both will be wearing the brand as they compete in Tokyo, and both have partnered with the company to support efforts of activism in childcare. In fact, Felix and Athleta established a $200,000 fund to support athletic mothers earlier this week.
Hublot is pleased to announce #MujingaKambundji as new Friend of the Brand. A figure in the Swiss athletics revival, Mujinga Kambundji is the fastest Swiss woman in history and the first to break the legendary 11-second barrier for the 100m. pic.twitter.com/GecbFnXyV1
— Hublot (@Hublot) July 9, 2021
Hublot has been a time-keeper for events such as the UEFA Euros, as well as direct support for U.S. basketball teams including the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Many Olympic stars past and present have made Hublot their official watchmaker, and now Swiss runner Mujinga Kambundji and British spriner Dina Asher-Smith are added to the list. Kambundji is considered the fastest woman in Swiss history, so that’s pretty big news. In a sport where every second counts, you can trust these athletes choice in timepiece.
Usain Bolt won’t be competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but his name and recognition as the world’s fastest runner makes the shoes he wears pure gold. Bolt wore German-brand Puma while with the Jamaican national team, and Puma continues as one of the greater Olympian supporters of today. This year, look for Puma shows on athletes from India, Cuba and the entire Italian national soccer team.
In addition, U.S. hammer-thrower Gwen Berry noted Puma as well-committed to racial equality. Puma also sponsored Tommie Smith, who famously raised a fist at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in protest of racist attacks.
As one of the top sporting brands in the world, Adidas certainly belongs on this list. A top sponsor of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Adidas supports Bahamaian 400m women’s champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, champion swimmer Katie Ledecky, and Paralympian swimmer McKenzie Coan. Adidas also sponsors national teams, including the soccer teams for Germany, Japan, Spain and Russia. Adidas sponsors the United States’ golf team, too, and it made the apparel for Team Great Britain, most notable for the track and field and cycling teams. Want something beyond sporty apparel? Adidas also made the game ball for each soccer tournament.
New Balance has been on the up-and-up with athletic sponsorship, making deals with basketball superstars Kawhi Leonard and Jamal Murray. When it comes to Olympians, the company sponsors track and field stars Trayvon Bromell and Stephanie Twell, young tennis pro Coco Gauff and more. If you’re looking for a sturdy model trusted for its durability and stability, this is a good choice.
Nike is one of the top athletic gear providers for the Olympic games, especially when it comes to team sports. The USA’s basketball, soccer and baseball teams all wear the swoosh on their uniforms, making Nike one of the most popular brands in the athletic world. Nike also designs a number of shoes, gear items accessories gear for individual athletes, making it incredibly easy to dress like your favorite star.
We know what you’re thinking: Italian luxury brand Armani is an Olympic outfitter? It may surprise you to learn that Armani was chosen and approved to design the brands for the Italian Olympic and Paralympic teams, including the soccer team’s uniforms, swimwear, training gear and more. Dressing Olympic athletes is always an honor, and for a nation as prolific as Italy— who just won the UEFA Euro 2020 title—Armani fits the bill.
Photography by: Anthony / Pexels