Going for Gold
The Most Innovative Gear Team USA Is Using in PyeongChang 2018
Every four years, we get to watch incredible athletes take on the most dramatic feats they’ve yet to try to become the best in the world. As the individuals get better, the gear must also keep up, and improve every single year. So far we’ve seen Colorado snowboarder Red Gerard win gold, watched figure skater Adam Rippon take home a bronze, and Chloe Kim dominate the halfpipe field with gold. Below is a selection of products that are helping the Americans to go bigger and bolder than ever before.
Oakley Harmony Fade
All of the Team Oakley athletes will rock some part of the Harmony Fade collection. Keep an eye out for them on Mikaela Shiffrin, Stale Sandbech and Chloe Kim. The Prizm technology improves visibility to help enhance performance on snow — and the orange color is fire.
Columbia Mogul Kit
The blue and white Americana look is paired with Columbia’s OutDry technology to keep the kit waterproof and breathable. Grab the red zipper to unveil the gold lining — no other color is acceptable — and see the omni-heat dot pattern that reflects the athletes’ warmth to disrupt the chill in PyeongChang.
Nike Medal Stand Collection
Since each medal ceremony is held outdoors where temperatures are dipping as low as 18 this week, Nike designed the podium outfits to keep athletes warm. The four-piece kit includes a waterproof jacket, DWR-coated pants, gaiter boots and insulated gloves. No matter if the Olympians are watching their team win gold, or collecting a medal themselves, this kit will provide the warmth needed to fend off frostbite.
Under Armour Speedskating Suit
Under Armour worked with the US Speedskating Team to improve comfort and performance in hopes of getting back on the podium after a not-so-great 2014 showing. With second skin-like fit, asymmetrical design over the legs to create more freedom in movement and a dimpled texture over the entire suit, this year’s suits are set to be the most aerodynamic yet.
Under Armour Bobsled Skins
Under Armour also took on the design work for Team USA’s bobsled and skeleton teams with high-tech racing skins. The close-fitting suits are constructed with ColdGear Infrared, which helps the athletes retain heat while hurtling down the luge at speeds topping 80 miles per hour. Under Armour also equipped the shoulders, arms and backs of the suits with a fabric called H1, which uses a blend of nylon and spandex to create a dimpled texture that helps reduce wind drag, thus saving highly-valued hundredths of a second.
North Face Freeski Kit
The North Face went big this year with its red, white and blue kits and designed over 60 pieces to give each athlete a variety of options depending on each’s style and trick repertoire. Nodding to the variety of beginnings each freeskier has is a photo collage on the inside of some jackets, collected from the athletes’ parents of their kids as youngsters. Aside from sentimental value, TNF worked hard to create performance pieces with their Ventrix and FuseForm technologies, all inspired by the NASA Apollo program. Check them out on athletes like Maddie Bowman, Aaron Blunck and Devin Logan this week.
Giro Emerge Helmet
Giro’s latest freestyle helmet may look minimal, but it’s one of the safest the brand has produced. The Emerge features MIPS Spherical, the latest technology designed to combat multi-directional impact during high-speed crashes and prevent traumatic brain injuries. The helmet also contains Giro’s D2 Construction, which utilizes two densities of foam to deal with high- and low-energy impacts. In building a low profile helmet specifically for freeride skiers and snowboarders, Giro recognizes that it’s not just alpine racers who need top-tier head protection. The Emerge will be available to consumers in Fall 2018.
It’ll be hard to miss Burton at the Olympics this year — the Vermont-based snowboard company provided NASA-inspired outerwear to more than a handful of Team USA’s athletes. Puffy warmth is the dominating theme in the off-white jackets, pants and mittens. Look carefully, and you might also spot another piece of Burton gear: the 2019 Custom snowboard. Nearly every competitor in the men’s snowboard final — from the United States and abroad — was riding the board including Shaun White, Ayumu Hirano and Ben Ferguson.
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