Olympic competition uniforms have ties to Colorado
Alpine, Aerials, Freestyle and Freeski competition uniforms now on display at Colorado Snowsports Museum
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing may be held halfway around the world, but for some disciplines, the competition uniforms have ties to Colorado and are already on display at the Colorado Snowsports Museum.
Through connections, the Colorado Snowsports Museum was able to get the competition uniforms for Alpine, Aerials, Freestyle and Freeski.
“One of our board members, Trent Bush, was able to get these competition uniforms from Spyder and Spyder has ties to the Colorado Snowsports Museum because its founder, David Jacobs, is in our Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall of Fame,” said Jen Mason, executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum.
Jacobs started Spyder out of his kitchen in Boulder in 1978. At first it was a small mail-order business, but in a few short years it outgrew Jacobs’ kitchen and sales were in the six digits.
Spyder has been the official apparel partner of the U.S. Ski Team since 1989. Ralph Lauren designs the Team USA uniforms for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and has done so since 2008. The Spyder uniforms are what the athletes wear when they are training, warming up or in competitions.
“We’ve been working on this exhibit for over a year so we could bring these competition uniforms from the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to the public to view,” Mason said.
Until the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, ski team members would wear their home club or college uniform.
“If you were on the ski team at University of Denver, you just wore your college ski team uniform,” Mason said.
Spyder collaborated with Eric Haze, an American artist, graphic designer and art director. Raised in New York City, Haze was influenced by pop art at a young age and along with contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, popularized graffiti-style art and took it from the underground to the main streets of New York City and beyond.
Eric Haze’s influence can be seen in the “USA” and “United States of America” emblazoned on the sleeve and the front of the apparel and accessorize, as he is known for his iconic hand lettering. Instead of a traditional star from the stars and stripes on the United States flag, Haze created his own signature star that is placed all over the uniforms. There’s even a subtle graffiti-style pattern with USA on the interior of the jackets and pants.
There’s also a special message to each athlete on the inside of each jacket, stating that when the athletes wear the outerwear, they are not only representing the United States of America but also that “there is a legacy behind you and endless possibilities in front of you. Wear this uniform with pride and know that you are not alone.” There’s more to read in this inspirational message, so stop by the museum to see it up close.
“It gives you goose bumps to read it. It’s just a powerful, moving message, right there inside the coat,” Mason said.
The competition uniforms will be on display for the next several months. The Colorado Snowsports Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and is located at the Vail Village parking structure. For more information, go to SnowsportsMuseum.org.