Friday, February 7, 2014

12 SF/F Outfits We Wish Our Olympians Were Wearing Tonight

by Sara N.

Friends, we need to talk about the outfits our American athletes are wearing in the opening ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics tonight. They are ... oh, what's the word I'm looking for? 


Just look at them! Let's forget about the white sweatpants for a second. (But seriously, white sweatpants.) We need to talk about the cardigans. They are AWFUL. They look like the winner of an ugly Christmas sweater competition mated with the contents of a Michael's craft store clearance section on July 5. Stephen Colbert would look at this and ask them to take it down a notch. (Even more baffling, they are sold out at Ralph Lauren. Inasmuch as this hideous nightmare cardigan cost $595, it makes the whole affair that much more confusing.)

Anyway, I started thinking about all of outfits that would've been better to put our athletes in for tonight's Parade of Nations. Here are 12 costumes from sci fi/fantasy that I'd much rather see. They're not all red, white and blue, but that's OK. There's nothing wrong with a little mystery or a bright pop of color, right?

1. Captain America's shield

No need to change their original outfits; just let each of the athletes carry a replica of Cap's shield. It's patriotic and it helps cover up those cardigans.

2. Mid-1990s X-Men uniforms

They're sporty and functional, and they give the team a unified look. Mutant powers aren't required to wear these, but they would help — provided the athletes' drug tests come up clean.

3. Jedi robes

This wrap top would be the most comfortable choice for the athletes. Perhaps the belt could have a touch of red, white and blue. Lightsabers would obviously be left back at the Olympic Village for safety's sake.

4. Slightly more sinister Jedi robes

If they want to appear a bit more intimidating to the other countries, the athletes could don Luke's flirting-with-the-dark-side black gear and mechanical hand glove. (However, we do still need a ruling on whether mechanicals hands are allowed at the Olympics.)

5. Browncoats

Donning your best space pirate frontier wear for the opening ceremonies is a subtle rebuke of the Alliance — er, the host country and the IOC for their lax attitudes toward Russia's sketchy human rights record.

6. Rorschach 

Hiding our athletes' faces behind the mask made famous in Watchmen will certainly add an element of psychological warfare to the Olympic games this year. Plus, the hat and overcoat are practical in the winter weather. 

7. The Bride (and Bruce Lee, too)

The bride's iconic yellow jumpsuit is sporty and eye catching, and the U.S. team would look fierce moving through the Parade of Nations in canary yellow. Think they'd be allowed to ride in on motorcycles?

8. Dothraki warrior garb

OK, maybe I should've thought this one through better. Not only are the Dothraki not Americans (although author George R.R. Martin lives in New Mexico), but wearing only leather straps and a loincloth would be unpleasant in winter weather. Still, it showcases a certain bloodthirsty desire to win, does it not?

9. Batman suits

Nipples are a must, obviously. Please note that all utility belts are banned from competition.

10. Rainbow Raider

Roy G. Bivalo is a mostly forgotten character from the D.C. archives. This colorblind artist turned to crime when his artistic works were rejected because of his shaky grasp of colors, but he ended up with an utterly fantastic suit. I can think of no better way for our athletes to show their support for the GLBT population's struggles in Russia than by gearing up thusly in the Parade of Nations. Yes, Rainbow Raider was a bad guy in the comics. Let's repurpose his costume for some good in Sochi.

11. The Punisher

This amps up the intimidation factor to 1,000. Imagine the U.S. athletes striding into the arena in Frank Castle's skull shirt and black overcoat, their faces set in blank-eyed scowls. I don't know about you, but I'd pull out of the biathlon if my opponent in the skiing and shooting event rocked this look at the opening ceremonies.

12. Star Fleet uniforms

Forgot about global camaraderie and competition. Dressing our athletes in Star Fleet uniforms sends a message that we're all about interstellar exploration, understanding, peace and unity. And hot aliens. Always hot aliens. Anyway, donning these polyester beauties would lend a cool/retro/chill vibe to the proceedings tonight and might inspire greater heights of global cooperation. 

So what do you think about Team U.S.A.'s official uniforms? And what would you rather see them wearing tonight?

Hat tip to Laura B. for the great suggestions.

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