On Fashion: U.S. Ski Team Suit Features National Anthem Theme
Spyder Active Sports Inc., production art manager Matt Strackbein holds up a downhill racing suit of the design to be worn by the U.S. Alpine ski team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, at Spyder headquarters in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday Jan. 22, 2014. According to Strackbein, the suits' colors are meant to represent the reflection of the U.S. flag on Chesapeake Bay following the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The bombardment witnessed by Francis Scott Key inspired the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Boulder, Colo. — The competition uniforms for the U.S. alpine ski team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi will feature a national anthem-inspired theme. The different shades of red, white and blue are meant to represent the reflection of the U.S. flag on Chesapeake Bay following the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, said Matt Strackbein, production art manager for Boulder-based manufacturer Spyder Active Sports Inc. The bombardment witnessed by Francis Scott Key inspired the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner.
U.S. ski team spokesman Tom Kelly said the company has been providing the team’s ski suits since 1989. They will be worn by members of the team competing in the downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and the super combined at the games that begin Feb. 7. The suits are designed for speed, with proprietary, slick elastic material stitched together so the seams are on the back side to ensure maximum air flow around the suit. They’re tested in a wind tunnel.
Additional features on the suits include carefully designed zipper pulls and anti-microbial stitching that includes thread made from silver.
Strackbein said the design and prototypes were made in the United States. He declined to say where.