Industry News 1/21/2014

GEAR: Spyder Unveils U.S. Alpine Ski Team Olympic Competition Uniforms

Spyder Unveils U.S. Alpine Ski Team Olympic Competition Uniforms
Press Release from Spyder Active Sports

BOULDER, CO. (January 21, 2014) – Spyder Active Sports, Inc., the iconic ski and active lifestyle apparel brand specializing in high tech fabrication and sport-specific function, today unveiled the competition uniforms to be worn by the U.S. Alpine Ski Team at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Spyder, a long-time sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team, provides the team with its race suits and on-snow apparel.

For close to 25 years, Spyder has designed state-of-the-art apparel and race suits for world class ski athletes including the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, and the Winter Olympics have traditionally given the brand the opportunity to showcase its technological excellence and design superiority on a global scale.

For these Winter Olympics, the design process has yielded Spyder’s most technologically advanced and perhaps most visually impactful uniform pieces to-date. Most notably, for the U.S. Ski Team Olympic Race Suit, the seventh Olympic Race Suit Spyder has designed for the U.S. Ski Team, Spyder has combined its ‘fastest in the world’ suit technology with a compelling, patriotic design story that directly references the famed Star-Spangled Banner.

According to the person responsible for the design, Spyder’s Production Art Manager Matt Strackbein, “when creating the [U.S. Ski Team Olympic] race suit graphics we knew it was crucial that the racers felt a sincere sense of patriotism, so we utilized ‘stars and stripes’ in a less traditional, more dynamic way … as important as it was to represent the U.S.A., it was equally important that the athletes look and feel fast. When I began the design process, I thought about times when I feel that same degree of patriotism and I immediately thought about the National Anthem, so I decided to use the song lyrics from the Star Spangled Banner for inspiration. Per the song, one of the most meaningful sightings of the American Flag happened the morning after Francis Scott key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. There, ‘by dawns early light,’ Key saw that ‘our flag was still there,’ albeit a much larger flag than the small storm-flag that had flown over the fort all night during the battle. But what stood out most upon reading the lyrics was that, because the air was so laden with smoke after the battle, Key recognized it rippling in the water off the edge of the ship on which he was being held captive. I tried to imagine what he was feeling in his heart at that moment – surely a deep sense of pride, not unlike the feeling an athlete must have when they win Olympic Gold. So, for the race suit, we used blue and white fades in the design to represent that early morning setting, and thinner red and white stripes to represent the flag rippling in the water. The goal was to capture as much of that imagery in the race suit as possible so that the U.S. Ski Team Athletes can potentially feel that heightened sense of hope, pride, courage and determination.”

Bill Marolt, President and CEO of the U.S. Ski Team, had the following to say about the long standing partnership between the U.S. Ski Team and Spyder: “Spyder brings a great depth of experience with seven straight Olympics providing innovative technology in its competition suits to help our U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes achieve Best in the World performance.”

U.S. Ski Team Member and Olympic Hopeful Steven Nyman added: “Knowing that we are on the best gear makes us feel comfortable and confidant. You could say Spyder gives us one of our biggest competitive advantages – they allow us to focus fully on our skiing because we know we have the equipment to stay safe while pushing the boundaries of speed."

About Spyder Active Sports
Spyder is one of the largest specialty ski brands in the world. It is an Official Supplier to the U.S. Alpine and Canadian Alpine Teams. Spyder products integrate high-technology fabrication, sport-specific function, and fashion conscious designs. Based in Boulder, CO, the company sells high performance outerwear and sportswear in the United States, Canada and more than 50 countries outside of North America.