Columbia Sportwear is the manufacturer of the freestyle ski uniforms that will be worn by several nations, including the United States, at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The games, which will take place in South Korea, will feature high-end sportswear from Columbia that has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the world’s elite athletes.
Columbia will provide the following countries with ski uniforms: Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the United States.
The company provided uniforms for the 2014 U.S. freestyle team.
Columbia states that the manufacturer has focused on three key design areas: innovation, performance and national pride. Every jacket will reflect each nation’s culture and customers with unique colors and designs.
The manufacturer has worked closely with teams to offer the most advanced, best-performing products for the Winter Games. Waterproof protection is a key performance feature of the Columbia lineup. OutDry Extreme provides maximum mobility and waterproof protection to wearers.
Athletes stay dry and warm thanks to the uniform’s membrane, which offers a permanent waterproof layer that actively repels water away from the uniform. The membrane keeps the athletes warm and dry while promoting full range of motion.
A four-way stretch is provided to allow for complete range of motion.
Warmth is provided with the company’s Omni-Heat Reflective design. The material is designed to be warming and breathable. Silver, reflective dots work to reflect the body’s temperature while also retaining the warmth that the body generates.
Omni-Heat reflective material eliminates the need for bulky layers and also acts to wick moisture to keep wearers comfortable and dry even in the most extreme sport conditions.
Snow camouflage patterns have been woven into each jacket that will mask body movement, allowing for judges to have an easier time during the competition. Zipper tape has been eliminated from the uniform’s design making it the lightest weight, waterproof zipper offered by Columbia. The company’s wholesale zippers are bonded directly on the fabric, featuring a Light Rail zipper that is low-profile and lightweight.
The company has paid special attention to each team’s unique identity.
Athletes are able to make each uniform their own with the introduction of knee patches and nameplates that are removable and can be changed. The goal is to provide a cohesive look that teams and players can make their own without risk of damaging the integrity of the jacket.
Columbia worked with teams and individual athletes when designing the new uniforms. The company states that they spent countless hours in the mountains to capture a variety of different weather conditions. The time spent on the mountain allowed the manufacturer to tweak their design to meet the rigors of skiing at the highest performance level in the harshest conditions.
The U.S. Ski Team worked extensively, with Columbia stating that “it’s awesome that we can give our feedback to Columbia and have them hand us a uniform the next season that reflects our input.”
“Olympic athletes are among the world’s most elite competitors. Columbia’s partnership with these teams has not only inspired our designers to create the most technical, innovative and best performing products, but it has also provided insights throughout our winter collections,” states Columbia’s President Joe Boyle.