By Rachel Comish
With everyone watching the Olympics, our focus is on teamwork and patriotism. Social media is blowing up with people cheering on their favorite athletes and encouraging their country.
With so many eyes on the hundreds of athletes from all over the world, it’s important to be able to differentiate the separate countries and who exactly we’re cheering for.
This is one of the few times everyone loves uniforms.
From glittery leotards to swim caps to jerseys, each country has their look. Some, like the US gymnasts, wear the actual flag across their leotards. Others, like the beach volleyball team, opt for a bright and simple look that will stand out. Others don’t even incorporate their countries colors, since most countries choose red and blue, and wear vibrant shades of pink just because they can.
So what’s the point of uniforms?
Uniforms create a sense of unity. They bring people together and set them apart from the other teams. When you wear a uniform, you know you are a part of something. Visually, uniforms give the sense of working towards a larger goal. Being dressed the same as a dozen or so other people immediately makes you feel more included and accepted.
Feeling more connected with your team pushes you to work harder for them. And it’s not just your own team that you can share that connection with, it’s every team competing for your country.
Teammates can identify each other by their uniform, which is great for the Olympic athletes who don’t necessarily know every athlete from their country. The volleyball and golf teams may not know each other, but they know they are competing for the same country because they have the same flag incorporated into their attire.
Likewise, viewers know who to root for. You might not usually watch soccer, but you know exactly who is representing your country just by looking at them.
Some of the bigger games can get chaotic with so many people and it would be hard to identify your team without jerseys. Swimmers usually have their flag on their swim caps, because that’s all you really see when they’re in the water.
You may also be used to seeing certain athletes compete against each other. A basketball team could consist of several star American players who come from a variety of teams. But they all join together for the Olympics and wear the same jersey.
It’s fun to see how everyone expresses their country pride through uniforms.
I especially like seeing the gymnasts, and not just because of the glitter. They get a little more freedom with choosing designs and it’s cool to see what they come up with and how they unite together using a simple outfit. It’s such an individual sport, but they do it as a team; which just shows that everything is better with moral support.
The Olympics have been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the events. Go team USA!