Germany’s 2014 Sochi Olympic Team will make a powerful political statement as they step into Fisht Stadium tomorrow – whether or not they intended to.
The team will be wearing these amazing techicolour uniforms, which appear remarkably similar to the freedom-flaunting gay pride flag.
Could the multi-coloured uniforms be a direct response to the state-sanctioned homophobia we’ve seen in the lead-up to the Games? Could they be a bit too fabulous for Vladmir Putin and his Kremlin cronies?
Showy Winter Olympic uniforms
1984, the year of standing out in the snow. Photo: Getty
Though the German Olympic Sports Committee insists that the designs were in place long before Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws were announced, and designer William Bogner has cited the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics as inspiration, we can’t help but speculate.
The political and sexual repression in Russia has reached Olympic proportions as of late. The government’s harsh restrictions, apparently aimed at ‘protecting’ children, has in fact been linked to an increase in vigilantism and brutal hate crimes against members of the LGBT community. Just another one to add to the growing list of @SochiProblems, which no performance by two faded faux-lesbian pop stars can hope to cure.
Despite the best efforts of Pussy Riot and activists like Lena Klimova, the human rights abuses don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. The country just passed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists or foreigners who they suspect of being homosexual or ‘pro-gay’. Amidst the controversy, many athletes have been forced to make the difficult decision of whether they should protest the oppressive policies or boycott the games and give up their chance to compete altogether.
Whether or not the uniforms were made with an explicit pro-gay agenda in mind, they’re sure to have a broader resonance and attract a whole lot of support from the crowd come Saturday. Who knew a sweeping rainbow ski jacket could ever feel so powerful?