From erasers to eggs, Olympic outfits draw unflattering comparisons
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With just a few days to go until the kickoff ceremony for the Olympic Games in Rio, participating nations are flaunting the designs of the official outfits their athletes will wear for the occasion. But several of these have been met with scorn and derision by the countries’ own citizens.
After Chinese officials published photos of their athletes’ outfits, a hashtag immediately began gaining traction on Weibo, the country’s biggest social media platform: “#ScrambledEggsWithTomato” (in Chinese). People using this hashtag compared the outfits to the dish due to their colours: yellow and red.
However, the designer, Ye Chaoying, defended his choices, noting that yellow and red were also the colours of China’s flag: "We hope our athletes will feel like [they are] wearing our national flag when they step into the stadium at the opening ceremony."
Just minutes after the Iranian Olympic Committee published the designs of the outfits for Iran’s athletes, the backlash began on social media.
Some compared the colour of the dress with old-school erasers:
یاد این پاک کن ها به خیر!=))) #المپیک #لباس pic.twitter.com/V9Rl8EZ1xI— ⓔⓢⓔⓗⓢⓐⓝ (@Hp__2011) July 23, 2016
Many people decried it as the worst design ever, and made dark jokes about it:
همین الان خبر به دستمون رسید که داعش مسئولیت طراحی لباس کاروان المپیک ایران رو به عهده گرفته— Dorsa Al (@Dorsa_al) July 23, 2016
One Iranian athlete even criticised the outfit on his Instagram account:
This backlash prompted the Iranian Olympic Committee to announce that it would replace this outfit with another idea suggested by a different designer via Instagram. He is currently at work on the remplacements, which feature the colours of Iran’s flag. He said the final versions will be slightly modified versions of his original designs, shown below.
The Georgian outfit has been met with such distaste that more than 7,000 Georgians have signed a petition asking to change it.
The designer said his pieces were inspired by Georgia’s traditional garb, the “chokha”.
But this is not to the liking of many modern-day Georgians:
Some joked that the athletes might as well be dressed as Georgian monks:
As for the dark colours used in the outfit for the men, it was heavily criticised as a throwback to Soviet-era outfits.