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Stella McCartney-designed Adidas kit likely to get a reaction, but perhaps not the one desired

Adidas has this morning unveiled the Stella McCartney kit that Britain’s athletes will wear at the London 2012 Olympics, now just over four months away. While the prospect of the first home Olympics since 1948 plus the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations means that the country is likely to become swathed in a sea of red, white and blue over the summer, the likes of Sir Chris Hoy won’t.

If the London 2012 logo provoked controversy when it was launched in 2007 – a selection of comments can be found on the BBC Sport Editors’ blog – we suspect that’s nothing compared to what the public reaction will be when the 2012 kit hits the newspapers.

Cycling and other sports are ones in which there is a balance between progress, on the one hand, and tradition and heritage on the other, with many people feeling that some things just shouldn’t be altered, and that includes the basic colours of national kit.

Those don't necessarily reflect national flag colours - the Netherlands' orange is derived from the colours of the royal house of that name, while Italy’s azzurri wear the blue that was the colour of the House of Savoy under which the country was united; however, Britain’s finest have always tended to chase gold in the red, white and blue of the Union Flag.

Except this year, they’ll be doing so in several shades of blue, including turquoise, with red reserved for the collar. It's not so much the de-emphasising of the red that is likely to cause most comments, however - that's been happening for some time - but rather the toying with the colours of what remains one of the world's most readily identifiable flags.

While reaction to the kit is likely to revolve around its aesthetics, there’s a scientific reason too for ensuring that team kit should contain a healthy splurge of red – a study by sports psychologists in Germany published in 2009 found that athletes and teams wearing red kit were 10 per cent were more successful than those wearing other colours.

Researchers suggested that a combination of the confidence the colour inspires and the feelings of dominance and aggression it provoked might lie behind the findings.

There was evidence, too that it wasn’t just competitors who were influenced by kit colour. As part of the research, Tae-Kwondo judges were shown videos of bouts, and awarded more points to those with red, rather than blue belts; when the images were digitally altered to reverse the colours, those whose blue belts had been manipulated to appear red came out on top.

There’s a bit more red on the tracksuit worn by Victoria Pendleton in this picture, although again the change of colour palette of the flag itself is going to jar with purists, not to mention incorporating the belt into its design.

The kit got its launch this morning at the Tower of London. It’s been a few hundred years since they stuck traitors’ heads on spikes on nearby London Bridge, but we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the newspapers are calling for heads to roll come the morning.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

60 comments

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liangford [13 posts] 3 years ago
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chris hoy with a road bike?  13

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 3 years ago
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I think it's ace. Cue the "my six year old could design better" remarks.

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joemmo [1145 posts] 3 years ago
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i think the design as applied to VP's judo style jacket and the tennis top / football shirt look ok but some of the other stuff is just a bit... meh? And what's with the X factor stomach girdle thing on the runners kit?

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Simon_MacMichael [2442 posts] 3 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

I think it's ace. Cue the "my six year old could design better" remarks.

My three and a half year old could design better. And she's a miniature schnauzer...

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stumps [3184 posts] 3 years ago
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Never mind the outfits i like the Pinarello in the team colours.

Mind you the wrap around the waist in VP's image looks crap and thats being polite.

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belgravedave [263 posts] 3 years ago
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Heading for gold? Nope just the TK Max clearance rack.

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Simon_MacMichael [2442 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Never mind the outfits i like the Pinarello in the team colours.

The *old* team colours, you mean...

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Littlehuan [46 posts] 3 years ago
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I've not noticed the kit. I'm still staring at Sir Chris Hoy's quads.  13

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JonSP [61 posts] 3 years ago
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It's just awful.

They won't listen to us, of course, but money talks, and they might be swayed by the thought that sales of replica kit will be pitiful.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 3 years ago
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I think the new uniforms are ace. Way more tasteful than the brighter blue/red combo of the actual flag. Unless we want our teams wandering round looking like Ginger Spice. Plus, maybe the darker colours are edging towards black, and that make athletes more aggressive :-

http://www.laymanpsych.com/black-uniforms-and-aggression

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Fringe [1047 posts] 3 years ago
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next time get Rapha to do it.

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othello [359 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't shoot me, but I like it!

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seabass89 [212 posts] 3 years ago
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I wonder if giving a road bike to Chris Hoy is like giving a manual stick drive to an American?

Does he know how it works?  10

I like dark blue personally, though I think there should have been more red and less white.

Athletes in red are better. Shame the UK athletes actually can't see they are wearing red  10

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robert_obrien [118 posts] 3 years ago
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I suppose we are stuck with red, white and blue. But does the background have to be navy? Why not green or orange or purple? Shorts would be black natch.

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joemmo [1145 posts] 3 years ago
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JonSP wrote:

It's just awful.

They won't listen to us, of course, but money talks, and they might be swayed by the thought that sales of replica kit will be pitiful.

I'd guess whatever replica kit there will be will already have hit the warehouse so it's probably a moot point. Besides, I don't think replica Olympic kit has quite the same market as for example, football shirts so it's probably not something they'd worry about.

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antonio [1103 posts] 3 years ago
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WTF!!!

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DonnyCampo [62 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe I'm down with the kids, maybe I don't know what I'm on about... But I like it. Certainly better than the last Olympic gear (white top, blue shorts, GREAT BRITAIN across the chest) which was dull, dull, dull. British cycling's kit in Copenhagen was "traditional" red, white and blue Union-flag-based but I thought it was awful as depending on what side of the road the cameras were on depended on whether you were looking out for riders in blue or red!
I think the Team Pursuiters would like quite menacing in their blue/black up against the Aussies in their dayglo yellow gear (and we will need all the pyschological advantages we can use at the moment...)

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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Hmmmm I do like Hoy and Murray not having GREAT BRITAIN plastered across it, but thats just because i'm Scottish. Its a bloody awful kit, did we expect any better from the idiots at the head of the Olympics?

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paulfrank [94 posts] 3 years ago
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Where can you get the replica all in one as modelled by Sir Chris......I need it for my daily commute especially if this weather stays as warm as it is!

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TrimmDich [46 posts] 3 years ago
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I wonder in what way they are going to 're-mix' the National anthem this summer.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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I just read BBC's news about it and saw this

LONDON 2012 TEAM SPONSORS

USA - Nike
Russia - Bosco
Germany - Bogner, Adidas and Sioux
Australia - Adidas
China - Anta for the formal uniform, various sponsors for sports kit

Great for British business then  19 19

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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TrimmDich wrote:

I wonder in what way they are going to 're-mix' the National anthem this summer.

Calvin Harris is on the case it make it more Scottish  19

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paulnettles [1 post] 3 years ago
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TrimmDich wrote:

I wonder in what way they are going to 're-mix' the National anthem this summer.

Kraftwerk are doing it - well, we've got a German kit...

BTW, why is Hoy leaning on Wiggins' Dogma?

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step-hent [718 posts] 3 years ago
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I actually quite like the kit, but not as the Olympic/National kit - it's just not that identifiable. If this was a pro-team kit I'd say it was quite classy, nicely understated. But as a national kit, I just think it lacks any national identity, and so totally misses the point.

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mooseman [86 posts] 3 years ago
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WTF?

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Matt_S [234 posts] 3 years ago
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 31 31 31

Maybe Stella has been taking design classes from the people who came up with the Olympic logo?  39

Still, VP Would look good in anything.  8 8

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gareth2510 [167 posts] 3 years ago
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Crock of shit....wots the 'dressing gown tie' around the waist of VPs top all about.
Echo other postings...should have got Rapha and Paul Smith to design it...least PS knows what cycling is all about.

utter rollocks

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Simon_MacMichael [2442 posts] 3 years ago
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As my wife just said, imagine Paris had got the Olympics, not London - and then they'd given Jean-Paul Gaultier the gig to design the kit.

Could have been interesting, if a tad impractical  3

Christian Lacroix could have been fun, mind...

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 3 years ago
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paulnettles wrote:

BTW, why is Hoy leaning on Wiggins' Dogma?

Will be his. Road rides are part of his training programme. All the track team have red, white and blue Pinarello training bikes. eg: Here is Dani King out training today.

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localsurfer [197 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks like Namibia's flag.

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