Tuesday, July 31, 2012

US Women's Gymnastics: A Leotard Travesty

About a week ago, I gave you my thoughts on the US' various team uniforms.  I was PARTICULARLY excited about the leotards that the women's gymnastics team would be donning:

I've watched every event so far, and am currently streaming the team finals, and these BEAUTIFUL flag-inspired leos have yet to make an appearance?  WHAT GIVES?!

Here we have the leotards the women wore for podium training.  It's cute that the pink spandex matches the pink gym, but honestly it's a little much.  The starburst detail is OK.

Two nights ago, amidst the drama of reigning World Champion Jordyn Wieber not qualifying for the All Around finals, the gymnasts competed in these blue/purple leotards.  Notice the starburst detail?  THEY ARE THE SAME LEOTARD IN A DIFFERENT COLOR!!!  Have we reached the end of originality?

Now, as I sit here streaming the team finals (which I will watch again tonight during an Olympics viewing party I am hosting), I have yet to be graced by the visual and patriotic wonder that is the elusive flag leotard. Instead I am presented with rhinestone on red.

(sorry about the awkward and the quality- screenshot of the live stream)

Look, it's not terrible.  The placement of the rhinestones is a little weird because it looks like bedazzled ribs.  I also think this is the same leotard they wore on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Perhaps my flag favorite is for the individual competition?  I'll be watching.  And waiting.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweatbands of Men's Tennis

While tennis spandex is traditionally relegated to the women, I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how the sport supports, and really celebrates the wearing of the almighty sweatband.

Juan Martin Del Potro, ARG

David Nalbandian, ARG

Roger Federer, SUI

Roger Federer (practice), SUI

It should also be noted that NBCOlympics.com has an entire album devoted to Men's Tennis Fist Pumps.


Women's Volleyball: A sport I actually know about

Here's a fun fact- I played volleyball for 7 years while in school.  Admittedly, it was middle and high school.  And we weren't very good.  And I spent most of my time on the bench.  But when I sat on that bench, I did it in spandex.

Anyway, because I actually know how this sport works, I generally enjoy watching it.  I am currently taking in the USA vs South Korea game and have a few things to note.

1. I NEED to get my hands on the South Korean shorts.  I am a general supporter of all spandex apparel, but I am especially fond of the spandex short (this likely stems from the time I spent playing volleyball).  The detail on the butt is GLORIOUS!

2. Most unfortunate name of the match (and probably the whole Olympics, but it's too early to call): Destinee Hooker.  I hope that her athletic prowess overshadowed her name growing up.  If not, LOOK WHERE SHE IS NOW, BITCHES!!!

Whilst writing this post, Team USA defeated South Korea.  CONGRATS!  Below, my thoughts on fashion from the rest of today's matches:

Italy vs Dominican Republic

So the awesome shorts may not be unique to South Korea.  Here they are in blue from Italy!  I think I like them better in black, though.

Turkey (left, black) and Algeria (right, red/white)

Is there no originality in team uniforming anymore?  Granted, I like this design, but this is no way to stand out!  The style didn't work out too well for Algeria, who lost to Japan.  Turkey is still duking it out with Brazil, the defending gold medalists.  Good luck!

Great Britain

I honestly don't know what is going on on her arm.  Is that paint?  Athletic tape?  A temporary tattoo?  I'm into any of the above, but I need clarification.

On a volleyball related note, a friend asked what the purpose of Men's Beach Volleyball was (women's, he said, is obviously to watch women play in bikinis).  To this I responded, it is clearly a celebration of the bro tank, and the occasional bro sweatband.

Joshua Binstock and Martin Reader, Canada


Friday, July 27, 2012

Opening Ceremony: Info!

We're SO CLOSE!!!  Granted, this is London time.  In the US, NBC will be broadcasting the Opening Ceremony of the XXX Olympiad at 7:30 pm.  If you are elsewhere in the world, refer to local channel guides.  If you don't have a TV, or won't be home during this time period but still want to watch, you are in LUCK!  NBCOlympics.com will be airing live feeds of not only tonight's Opening Ceremony, but sporting events throughout the next 17 days.  You can watch online, or on an assortment of mobile devices.

I'll be live tweeting my thoughts (@OlympicSpandex) until about 8:30 PST when I need to take a quick break and meet some Israeli teens at the airport (which feels very Olympic in spirit).  But fear not, I'll be back to blogging and posting pictures of the best and worst of the 2012 Opening Ceremony.

We also have some exciting things coming up, so stay tuned!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Men's Soccer: Epic Hair

So this morning I have been watching Men's Soccer, and switching between UAE (United Arab Emirates) vs. URU (Uruguay) and GAB (Gabon) vs. SUI (Switzerland), but I keep coming back to the latter due to some EPIC hairstyling.

These are the two really standout hair styles of the event, but members on each team are remarkably well-coiffed.  There is a lot of styling gel out on the field today!

P.S. Twitter seems to be down (or it is down on my phone, iPad, and computer), so my apologies if you are eagerly awaiting more @OlympicSpandex tweets!

P.P.S. Take a look at these AWESOME Swiss fans:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Favorite Sport?

Synchronized Swimming.

Where can I get that swimsuit???

OMG, OMG, OMG: Rhythmic Gymnastics

Ok.  I don't know why I was unaware of this before.  I feel like what few credentials I have for my self-appointed role as Olympic Fashion Correspondent are nearly shot because I did not understand the depth of glory associated with Rhythmic Gymnastics.

THIS IS WHERE IT IS AT, PEOPLE!!!  My dad sent me this article from Stylist.com, showcasing leotards throughout Olympic history.  I'll post best and worst later, but I was so taken by the Rhythmic Gymnastics pictures that I had to let you all know.

Photo: http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/240323/slide_240323_1265377_free.jpg

Soccer: USA vs France

Admittedly, soccer uniforms are not made of spandex.  However, I am just THAT excited that Olympic competition has already begun (Soccer and Archery start today, even though the Opening Ceremony is not for two more days).

A few posts back, you might remember the Where's Waldo-esque uniforms the American women were sporting.  Those are apparently NOT the uniforms they will be playing in over the next few weeks.

First, let me apologize for how awkward these photos are.  Since we've only reached halftime (game is currently tied 2-2), there are no pictures on the internet yet.  So I had to screenshot the streaming feed from NBCOlympics.com.

Now on to my thoughts.  I like the red/white/blue detailing around the neck.  It reminds me of those cheap fake medals you can get for small children.  The US women are favored to win gold, so maybe that is a subtle hint at that.  Here's where I have an issue.  Looking straight on, and particularly from a bit of a distance, these shirts make the women look like they are wearing blue sweater vests.  HOW ARE SWEATER VESTS RELATED TO SOCCER?  And while I like the shade of green that goalie Hope Solo is wearing (fantastic color on her), I wonder where in our American color palate this came from?

More thoughts on soccer later.  I'll also try to get in some solid archery time, and relate everything I see to "The Hunger Games."

Monday, July 23, 2012

London 1948

The last time the Olympics were held in London was 1948.  Earlier today, the New York Times put out a fantastic photo essay of American athletes who competed in these games.  Spandex-wise, it seems that for the 1948 games there was a near across-the-board theme of blue or red (hard to tell from a black and white photo) right to left diagonal stripes on a white background.  Simple, classic.

Photos: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/flash/sports/20120722-olympics-1948/old/600/Bakanic01.jpg and http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/flash/sports/20120722-olympics-1948/old/600/Griffing02.jpg

Opening Ceremony Spoilers!

I'm weak.  Very weak.  I see "spoilers" and I can't look away.  Today SFGate.com posted an article containing some major spoilers for Friday's Opening Ceremony.  Reading about it is obviously much different that experiencing the full visual wonder, but be advised- read the following article at your own risk!

Olympic opener will be spectacular but not secret | SFGate.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gymnastics: Leotards of Olympics Past

Last week NBC Olympics was kind enough to give a visual history of leotards of Olympics past.  As tends to be the case, NBC Olympics and I have differing views on Olympic spandex.

Sydney, 2000
For being from 2000, these look INCREDIBLY retro (not to mention the photo quality makes it look like 1962).  I'm not sure if this is retro in a good way, or a bad way.  I'm just not overly impressed and think we can do better.

Los Angeles, 1984

NBC Olympics was hating on these, but I am SO into this leotard.  I think the bias flag is very flattering on the butt, and the visual interest on the front is stellar.  I don't blame them for the high-cut leg, this was 1984 after all.  A precedent had been set.

Seoul, 1988
Ugh, SO BORING.  No wonder the US only took home one medal (bronze, balance beam) this year.  The judges probably zoned out during all the routines because there was nothing awesome to focus on.

Athens, 2004
I agree here with NBC Olympics that this leotard looks cheap.  It's a shame, because I think the cut-out detail at the neck (red) is quite cool.  Maybe we can loop back to that idea sometime.

Atlanta, 1996
Fantastic.  I really don't think I need to say any more.

Beijing, 2008
Competition leo:
Best use of solid red I've seen.  I particularly like how the spelling of USA on the left shoulder blends into the overall design.

Team qualifications:
WTF?  Is that even blue?  Since when is gold in the flag?  I understand wishful thinking, but its a surprise we got anywhere after showing up in these hot messes.

In other news, while trying to figure out what Olympics the Athens leotard came from, I stumbled across this site, which is similar to my own yet focusing SOLELY on leotards.  Sadly it seems it has not been updated since 2009 (has anyone used LiveJournal since then?).

Lastly I leave you with future US Olympic hopeful, Suri Cruise, and a link to one of my favorite blogs.

Athlete photos: http://www.nbcolympics.com/photos/gymnastics/five-for-friday-notable-team-usa-gynamstics-leotards.html?cid=rss
Suri photo: http://www.radaronline.com/sites/radaronline.com/files/imagecache/350width/Suri-Cruise-gymnastics-Getty.png

US Team Uniforms: The good, the bad, and the WTF?!

Earlier this week, NBC Olympics posted this article with their thoughts on some of the 2012 team uniforms.  I'll look past the fact that they are encroaching on my fashion policing space, because they do have some good points.  However, my personal thoughts differ slightly and that is why I am bringing them to you here (plus, I know you would rather read what I have to say than NBC Olympics).  5 days to London 2012!!!!

Women's Soccer
NBC Olympics is oddly into this homage to "Where's Waldo?"  While a nice shout-out to host city, London ("Where's Waldo," originally published as "Where's Wally?" was created by British illustrator Martin Handford), I would prefer something with a little more pizzazz.  Points deducted for lack of spandex, too.

Men's Basketball
I am admittedly intrigued by the mid-leg positioning of what appear to be spandex leg warmers, as well as the addition of elbow pads to the sport.  I do appreciate the head-to-toe coordination of this outfit, also available in red and white.

Women's Gymnastics
There's no competition when it comes to gold in the "Team Spandex" event.  These leos are stunning, not to mention figure-flattering with the bias flag detail.  Someone please notify me when I can purchase one for myself!  The US really hit it out of the park on this one.  Check back later for my thoughts on historical USA Gymnastics leotards.

Women's Field Hockey
Was this the last uniform designed?  It really feels like someone just gave up.  Also, why aren't we coordinating footwear here?  It looks sloppy.

From the Ed Hardy school of Olympic uniforms.  All it needs is rhinestones.  I may feel better about this once I see it on a human being.

I'll forgive the distractingly prominent crotch area because these are just so damn cool.  I'd rock that shirt any day of the week.

Track and Field
Honestly, who gave the OK for this?!?!?!  The two piece outfits are manageable, but COME ON!  Those one-piece atrocities will make our athletes the laughing stock of the games.  Next time planning a one piece spandex suit, consult the folks designing for the winter sports or these guys.

Photos: http://www.nbcolympics.com/photos/2012/best-dressed-seven-top-american-uniforms.html

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gymnastics: Leotard preview

Team USA has some serious red/white/blue spandex to contend with.  This preview of the French Olympic team uniforms has set the bar high for gymnasts world wide.  I particularly appreciate the multiple primary color options (I'm a ginge- sometimes I have trouble with red, and having blue as an option is super considerate), not to mention the subtle sparkle accents on the white.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but it appears that they have leotard coordinating scrunchies, too.  Props.

I would, however, like to know more about the SUPER sparkly number in the background (right).  What part of the Olympics is that going to be a part of, because I DEFINITELY want to be there.

Photo: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1118883.1342820822!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_635/french-olympic-team-uniforms.jpg

Spice Girls Will Reunite for London Olympics?!??!?!

If you have been following this blog, or my life, you will know how much the Spice Girls mean to me, to the history of spandex, and to the increased awesomeness of the Olympics.  According to NBC Bay Area, Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh will reunite once again for the Closing Ceremonies.  Real talk, I'll believe it when I see it.  But in the meantime, I will eagerly count down the days until my Brit pop loves grace the world stage once again (24 days, in case you wanted to get in on this action too).

Spice Girls Will Reunite for London Olympics: Report | NBC Bay Area:

P.S. Click here to read about the upcoming SPICE GIRLS MUSICAL, "Viva Forever"!!!!!

Photo: http://sinceyouaskedmyopinion.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/spicegirls.jpg

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Getting prepared for what is to come

To prepare myself for the games of the XXX Olympiad, I have been brushing up on coverage of Olympics past.  Just over a week out from the Opening Ceremonies of London 2012, I bring you seven minutes of Today Show gold from Beijing 2008.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Olympic Spandex takes over Twitter

Maybe "takes over" is a bit much, but we've finally caught up with the times and made our official debut on Twitter moments ago. Be sure to follow us @olympicspandex for up to the minute reactions to all the spandex summer will soon spring upon us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tonight has been a gold mine for Olympic spandex news

First awful photographs, now pole dancing as a possible Olympic sport in 2016?  Imagine the incredible spandex possibilities!!!

Pole Dancing: The Olympic Sport?? | FitPerez.com

Photo: http://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/issues/2011-february/pole-dancing--dance-web.jpg

Olympic Portraits: 'Stunning'? Or 'An Embarrassment'? | OTOS does not approve

As the 2012 London Olympics draw ever closer, the media heats up, and scandal comes out.  Today's spandex scandal is brought to you by photographer Joe Klamar and his less than ideal athlete portraits.  Enjoy the spandex, and the awkward.

Olympic Portraits: 'Stunning'? Or 'An Embarrassment'? | Photos - ABC News