In the speed skating events, the athlete's uniforms cover everything but their face- a spandex hood is incorporated into the suit to cover their head, presumably making them more aerodynamic. In short track, athletes wear helmets (there are more people on the ice which leads me to believe that there is a higher risk of crashing) and their suits are only neck high. They also sport gloves, unlike their speed skating counterparts because for some reason (which is clearly useful, but I don't know the technical aspects of the sport) they slide their fingers on the ice.
Before we move into the fashion hits and misses, I would like to remind my readers that I don't pretend to know anything about sports (next week when we get into figure skating I'll have slightly more knowledge based on my skating lessons during the early 90s, but nothing technical)- so take my sports comments with a grain of salt. The only thing I purport to be a (semi)expert on is the spandex.
Now, onto the fashion!!!
We can't talk about the1500 meter short track without talking about Apollo Anton Ohno. Unfortunate facial hair aside, this outfit is not terrible. I appreciate that the legs are a single color (as opposed to the shorts look in speed skating) and the faux vest detail is not bad, but in comparison to the uniforms of some of the other countries, team USA is again falling short. Ohno does get Brownie points for giving the ensemble a personal touch by adding a blue bandanna under his helmet (not visible in this photo). Also of note is the single white glove- perhaps a subtle MJ tribute? Lucky for him, the race results were not based on fashion and he came away with the silver medal. Good job.
Next up is Paul Hermann from Germany. I don't have much to say except that I greatly appreciate the generous use of color. The blue helmets are somewhat unfortunate since they don't match each athlete's outfit, but I will forgo that in the name of safety.
Nothing really spectacular to report about Ho-Suk Lee of South Korea. Definitely a nice shade of blue and I appreciate the matching gloves. Mostly I wanted to post this picture because his glasses are AWESOME! If only his uniform looked like THAT!
There seems to be a correlation between high fashion and losing when it comes to speed skating and short track. Here we have Yuri Confortola of Italy sporting the prettiest, chicest uniform seen so far in this Olympics. I love the blue and even more than that I LOVE the rainbow lightning rod down the leg. Unfortunately, Confortola did not move at the speed of lightning and finished 13th in the finals. Tough break, but incredible spandex.
I've gotta give it to the Japanese- they certainly know how to make an incredible spandex bodysuit. While not quite as spectacular as his counterpart in the speed skating competition earlier in the day, Yuzo Takamido of Japan makes fashion waves in this gold and black number.
That's all for now!! Women's coming soon.