'Daggy': Aussie Olympic uniform divides fans ahead of Tokyo Games

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Australian athletes Gronya Somerville (L) and Dan Watkins (R) pose during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform.
The Australian Olympic Uniform was unveiled on Tuesday with a mixed reaction from the public. (Getty Images)

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) unveiled the athletes' uniforms on Tuesday afternoon, but the outfits certainly divided public opinion.

Despite plenty of public pressure to stop the Tokyo Games, the AOC is full steam ahead after all Olympic and Paralympic athletes were granted a fast track for the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the Olympics.

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A virus state of emergency in Japan's capital city and other parts of the country was extended on Friday, less than three months before the delayed Games are due to begin.

There has been increasing pressure from the Japanese public to cancel the Olympics, which have already been postponed once from its original dates last summer due to the pandemic.

But with plans to go ahead as planned, the AOC unveiled the uniforms on Tuesday for the stars that will travel over and represent Australia.

The outfits will be worn by the Australian team at the Opening and Closing Ceremony.

However, while many loved the uniforms, many took aim at the 'daggy' and 'weird' look.

The uniforms, designed by Sportscraft, are inspired by Tokyo's famous Shibuya Crossing.

โ€œThe design process was inspired by the electric lights, vibrant colours and bustling atmosphere synonymous with Tokyo,โ€ a statement on the uniforms read.

โ€œThe angles used in the designs were inspired by Japanโ€™s famous Shibuya Crossing intersection, along with elements of the Southern Cross.โ€

One impressive feature, seen in the image below, is the blazer lining of all the athletes that have won Gold for Australia.

Australian athlete Keesja Gofers poses during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Australian athlete Keesja Gofers poses during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Aussie canoe representative Jessica Fox said the names on the inner-lining of the blazer was a nice touch for the athletes.

โ€œItโ€™s so special to wear a jacket that has the name of every Australian Olympic champion written on the lining, from Edwin Flack right through.

โ€œTheyโ€™re on your back, I feel like theyโ€™ve got my back โ€“ all of us that get a chance to wear this jacket are carrying on the Australian legacy.

โ€œIt also then stokes our own dream and that desire to have our own names etched there for future Olympic generations.โ€

Aussie athletes pose for a photograph during the Australian Olympic Team Opening Ceremony Uniform Unveiling at Wylie's Baths in Sydney on May 18, 2021.
Aussie athletes pose for a photograph during the Australian Olympic Team Opening Ceremony Uniform Unveiling at Wylie's Baths in Sydney on May 18, 2021. (Photo by BIANCA DE MARCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

AOC faces backlash over ASICS

The AOC faced criticism in April as it rolled out ASICS-branded sportswear, with the company facing questions over its use of cotton from the Xinjiang region in China.

China is currently at the centre of a global row over forced-labour cotton in the Xinjiang region, as well as the treatment of Uyghurs and people from other Muslim groups.

Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, was among the critics describing Australia's use of ASICS sportswear as "disgusting and shameful."

At least one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim people are believed to have been held in camps in Xinjiang, in China's northwest

 Australian athletes pose during the Australian Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 uniform unveiling at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on March 31, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Australian athletes pose during the Australian Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 uniform unveiling at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on March 31, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)

Human rights groups, independent media and foreign governments have found evidence that the local authorities have carried out mass detention, forced labour, political indoctrination, torture and forcible sterilisation.

The United States has described the situation as genocide and banned all cotton from Xinjiang, while Australia's parliament is considering a similar move.

AOC vice president Ian Chesterman played down the furore on Wednesday.

"We've been assured that none of the cotton for the Australian Olympic team comes from that region," Chesterman said.

"I think athletes at the moment need to focus on what their job is, which is to get out there and compete for Australia."

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