Gold style at the Olympics opening ceremonies in Vancouver
Before we hunker down to spend the next couple of weeks watching world-class athletic competitions at the Vancouver Olympics, let's take note of how good most competitors looked at the opening ceremonies Friday.
To be sure, there were some misses. The Greeks' white-breasted blue track suits made the wearers look like a kind of a cross between a Smurf and a Teletubby. And what was with those 1970s-invoking wild paisley pants sported by Azerbaijan?
There were stories behind some of the outfits. While big-name designers compete to clothe powerhouse teams like the U.S., smaller teams are not so fortunate. The three-athlete Indian team originally couldn't afford matching apparel, but the horrified local Vancouver Indo-Canadian community rallied to donate uniforms for the opening ceremonies.
The Georgian team wore the tragic loss of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili literally on their sleeves when they entered grim-faced with black armbands wrapped around the sleeves of their scarlet coats. A black ribbon adorned their flag as the crowd rose to its feet in a respectful ovation.
Bermuda kept to tradition with the men wearing Bermuda shorts -- even for a winter Olympics! But most teams were dressed in cozy, winter-ready jackets, hats and scarves.
The Brits and Team USA looked jaunty and ready for fun as well as competition, with the Americans in adorable knit reindeer caps from Ralph Lauren (top photo).
For sheer elegance, Italy, in crisp tailored jackets, and Austria, in natty blazers (blue for the men, purple for women), could take the gold and silver, in my humble opinion.
But what I would really like to add to my own winter wardrobe is Estonia's easy white jackets with the just-right blue snowflake pattern running on a diagonal from hip to armpit, and their furry hats with earflaps. I could almost hear sleigh bells!
-- Susan Denley
Photos, from top: U.S. athletes wave to the fans during the opening ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press); Flag bearer Athanassios Tsakiris of Greece leads his team (Jasper Juinen / Getty Images); The Georgian team wore black bands in memory of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili (Jasper Juinen / Getty Images); Roland Lessing of Estonia carries the flag (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images).
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