Australian athletes given never-before-seen offering in uniforms for Paris Olympics

The new uniforms for the Australian Olympic team include some brilliant firsts.

Members of the Australian Olympic team have launched the country's new uniforms for the Paris Games, with a number of exciting firsts on display in Sydney. Every piece of the Olympic uniforms - showcased by athletes in the harbour city - feature the traditional Australian green and gold colour scheme as well as Indigenous prints.

As well as the most prominent Indigenous artwork ever seen on Australia's Olympic uniforms, athletes will also be able to wear dresses for the first time around Olympic venues in Paris. It's expected to be hot and humid in the French capital during the Games, which run through the middle of the northern hemisphere summer from July 26 - August 12.

Pictured left, Australian athlete Charlotte Caslick models the team's Olympic Games dress.
Dresses feature for the first time as part of the Australian Olympic uniforms for the Paris Games, with Rugby 7s athlete Charlotte Caslick (L) modelling the look in Sydney. Pic: AAP

Rugby 7s player and Olympic champion Charlotte Caslick was one of the athletes given the privilege of wearing the dress on Thursday and admits it's an exciting first for the Paris Games. "This is the first time that we've had a dress [as part of the uniform]," Caslick told reporters in Sydney. "I know the girls are going to be really excited to wear a dress. The conditions in Paris are going to be quite hot and humid, so having something lightweight to chuck on is perfect for when we're over there."

Indigenous artwork features prominently on Aussie uniforms

Australia's chef de mission Anna Meares labelled the new uniforms "world-class" and said the Indigenous designs in particular would help showcase Australia's unique culture to a global audience. "This is the first time the Australian Olympic team will have Indigenous design across its competition and delegation so it's a really impressive milestone, it's exciting," Meares said.

"To have the artists work with the athletes ... has been a great process and one that has bought great collaboration and a uniform that everyone is proud of. The whole look good, feel good, go good thing, to me, is a really strong mantra for an athlete. And if you can cover off the first two which is look good, feel good, that go good should look after itself."

Seen here, Australia's Olympic uniforms for the Paris Games.
Australia's Olympic Games uniforms for Paris feature the largest-ever splashes of Indigenous artwork. Pic: Getty

Indigenous athlete Paul Fleming - who boxed for Australia at the 2008 Olympics - was instrumental in creating the Indigenous aspects of the uniforms. Fleming teamed with Torres Strait Islander artist David Bosun to create the designs to be worn by Australia's athletes and officials in Paris.

"The centrepiece represents a meeting place because the Olympics brings together people of all colours, religions and backgrounds from all over the world who are all competing for the same goal," Fleming said. "Everyone essentially becomes 'one' - we're all athletes and it doesn't matter where you come from."


The outfits also incorporate an arrow pattern signifying strength, steadfastness, and determination - which is known as Japonism Yagasuri - in a nod to Japanese uniform provider ASICS. The uniforms have also been tailored for competitors from a range of different sports, and designed to suit the specific needs of the individual athletes.

Pictured here, members of the Australian Olympic team show off the new uniforms for the Paris Games.
Members of the Australian Olympic team show off the new uniforms designed for the Paris Games. Pic: Getty

"Feeling comfortable in a uniform is really critical," said Meares, who is Australia's most decorated cyclist after winning six medals across four consecutive Olympic Games. "We're looking to have up to 480 athletes on the team from Paris and those bodies are all different ... there are little nuances that each athlete and each sport requires.

"To be given the green and gold uniform, for the first time putting that on I felt like I was wearing Superman's cape. I felt like I was stronger than I ever had been - I'm only five foot four but I felt like I was six foot tall. And with this uniform comes a reputation for the Australian Olympians that we are revered and respected on the international sporting scene and there's real pride in earning the right to wear this."

with AAP

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