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OLYMPIC STYLE.....TOP TEN BEST PyeongChang Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Uniforms!

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Flag Bearer Style--(L to R) German Madrazo (Mexico), Ngozi Onwimere (Nigeria), Pita Taufatofua (Tonga), and Abzal Azhgaliyev (Kazakhstan)--PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Two nights ago was the official Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as XXIII Winter Olympics and commonly as PyeongChang 2018. The Ceremony was held at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium and featured extraordinary performances, light shows, fireworks and even an incredible Drone Show (it's 2018!)....

Performers from the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, Pyeongchang South Korea

All in all, it was an elegant yet simple show put on a grand scale highlighting the Korean culture beautifully. While I do enjoy seeing the "show" part of the Opening Ceremony, my FAVORITE part is the "parade of Nations" when all the countries (and their athletes) participating enter the stadium and we get to see their uniforms/outfits--or lack thereof (Hello Hot Shirtless Pita!).

2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Now, in terms of the different countries and their uniforms and OLYMPIC STYLE, the weather was an important factor since it is VERY VERY COLD in Pyeongchang and well, not much of a choice of what the athletes and Opening Ceremony participants can wear except a bunch of bulky not-so-fashionable puffy jackets!

Standard Bearer Couture: Standard bearers (they hold up the countries names) at the Parade of Nations portion of the 2018 Winter Olympics 

With that said, I wanted to discuss MY TOP TEN BEST Opening uniforms/outfits (and Most fab Flag Bearers) from the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. My criteria involved the following:
A) Can I see it from the "nose-bleed seats"/Does it stand out?; 
B) Does it feature some semblance of STYLE and FASHION (I know, it's like 20 BELOW ZERO and very difficult to do something somewhat stylish for that kind of weather but...): and finally 
C) When I'm watching on TV, does it cause me to put down my phone, stop looking at my Insta Stories and declare "now THAT'S a uniform!"

Before I get to my TOP TEN, I wanted first to briefly discuss three countries that ARE NOT IN MY TOP TEN LIST. Especially because they are three HUGE fashion nations and I am sure some readers here would probably ask "Nick! Why aren't France, Italy and USA here??!!" Well...

France: Designed by Lacoste, these all white outfits featured red and  blue piping (reflecting the tri-color French flag) with one of the most tailored puffy jackets and an interesting asymmetrically place zipper. Unfortunately, none of the Opening Ceremony participants wore these... 
They wore THIS:


NEXT...

Italy: Designed by Giorgio Armani (of course!). A blue outfit consisting of a long padded jacket with a hood made of technical fabric and matching trousers. Interesting fact: The first verse of the Italian national anthem is printed inside the jacket close to the heart. While all this is nice and the fact that ARMANI designed and created these, they were (how do you say this in Italiano?) MEH...not so exciting or to be honest... fashionable.

NEXT...



USA--As we all know, The American brand of Ralph Lauren designed and created these uniforms for the USA. They were all red, white and blue to represent the USA of course, featuring big puffy coats, skinny jeans, knit ski caps, "Icelandic" print sweaters, boots and gloves (we'll get to the gloves don't worry!). First the good: The sweaters were cute and vintage-like. I also liked the skinny jeans. Those were chic, sleek and right, especially for these .000003 % fat free perfect athletes' bodies. Unfortunately, after that, they all just looked like big ol' Mountaineering Style Messes. I know that Ralph Lauren is known for this "Americana/Montana/Trust-funder Skier look but it was just A LOT. The entire ensemble was bulky and frankly, unattractive. Again, I know it's FREEZING and they need to be covered up but there was just a lack of style.

And then, there were THOSE GLOVES: 
OK, I'll just say it: THEY ARE NOT CUTE! Even the Washington Post said that these gloves look like "advanced falconry and amateur smelting". Ditto huney. On a good note: At least someone sitting in those cheap seats probably noticed those BIG OL' BROWN GLOVES...Good or bad!

Now that I got that out of the way...time for my TOP TEN FAVORITE Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations Outfits and TOP SIX MOST FAB Flag Bearers--Let's start with the Opening Night Outfits:
No. 1. Nigeria--In my Number One spot were the fabulous Nigerian bobsled team that lead their Nigerian contingency. Ngozi Gnwumere, who was born in Texas of Nigerian parents was the flag bearers and her team (the FIRST bobsled team from that country) accompanied her. they wore these GREAT green and white outfits that were fashionable, bold and kept them warm. The looks consisted of long coats in green and white, white pants and tops, black knee-high boots and those FABULOUS head wraps/turbans, or "Gele". They had style, gave nods to the Nigerian culture and were THE DEFINITION of what I expect to see at an Olympics Parade of Nations! Brava ladies!

No. 2 Norway: Norway comes in at my Number 2 position mainly because of these explosive and very eye-catching colors featured in their Opening Ceremony uniforms. When I am talking about "seeing it from the nose-bleed seats", THIS IT IT! The burnt-orange, bright blue colors popped on the stage and I also loved the "color-blocking" of how they were styled...spreading the blue-orange-blue evenly. Good job Norway!

No. 3 Canada--Canadian company Hudson Bay designed and created these VERY "Canada-centric" looks. And I loved them, especially for the bold red color and the fact that "CANADA" was printed like 50 times on their uniforms! (OK, maybe just THREE!) If there's a time to put the name of your country all over your outfits...it's AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS! In  terms of their outfits, I liked the bright red tailored-and-padded coats with a gigantic maple leaf on the back, the ski caps and mittens (with maple leaf prints of course!), the contrasting black skinny pants, and those fabulous red boots! These were country proud, bold in color and stylish! A Win, Win, Win...GO CANADA!

No. 4 Slovenia--Once again, it's ALL ABOUT COLOR COLOR COLOR!!! The neon lime green colors of the Slovenian contingency were bold and fabulous! I also liked the slimming ski puffy jacket and pants. The athletic ensembles were designed by Chinese sportswear company PEAK and kudos to them!

No. 5. Netherlands--Even though the county's flag is red, white and blue, the color orange has come to symbolize The Netherlands and become a symbol of pride. So it is not a surprise that they wore this color in their uniforms for the Opening Ceremony...and I'm glad they did! Bold color to be noticed from the cheapest seats at the top! I also liked the matching orange-colored sneakers (which I would TOTALLY wear running on the treadmill in my garage!).

No. 6 Serbia--Unlike The Netherlands, Serbia's uniforms actually did match the colors of their flag: Red, white and blue. There were a lot of these red. white and blue looks on display and these were one of the better ones. I liked the late 70's-like color-blocked puffy vest with high neckline and the red ski-suit worn underneath. it was simple, effective and BOLDLY colorful!

No. 7 Puerto Rico--Here is another red, white and blue colored "uniform"--this time worn by Puerto Rico. I loved the bright red puffy jacket and although I would have liked the ski pants to be more sleek and fitted, they made up for it with those great white caps and gloves. I would have rather seen the USA wear these rather than and those bulky "Mountain Man" messes they actually wore.

8 Brazil--Repeat after me: COLOR COLOR COLOR!!! BOLD COLOR! Happy to see the bright blue and canary yellow colors on the winter outfits worn by Brazil. While they might not have that much "style" factor, I didn't care, since it was ALL ABOUT these bright colors.

No. 9 Kyrgyzstan--The red puffy coat is fab. It was lean and stylish. But more fab is that hat! The hat is a traditional Kyrgystan "Ak Kalpak", a white felt hat worn in the country and region. I love when the uniforms include something of the country's culture and so it made me smile to see it here. Thank you Kyrgyzstan.

No. 10 Colombia--Speaking of wearing something reflecting the culture of the country...I present to you: COLOMBIA! The white capes--or Ruanas--a type of outerwear typical of the Andes region of Colombia, were the STARS of the Colombian team's looks and therefore made my TOP TEN list!


And now...my TOP SIX Most FAB Flag Bearers:
No. 6 Sweden--Flag bearer Niklas Edin wore this metallic gold and navy blue puffy jacket that was EVERYTHING! Great way to stand out!

No. 5 New Zealand--While the rest of the Kiwi team uniforms were a bit of a let-down (all black--I know New Zealand's national rugby team are the "All Blacks" but seriously...these were boring...NOTHING!), Flag bearer Beau-James Wells, a free style skier, did GREAT by accessorizing it with a glorious Korowai. The traditional Maori full cloak is worn to celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, graduations and yes, even the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations!

No. 4 Mexico--Flag bearer German Madrazo, a cross-country skier, did his nation proud by donning a full-on Mariachi outfit--the Charro--including that hat! Once again, I kind of wished that the rest of his Mexican team would have worn it too!

No. 3 Kazakhstan--Flag bearer Abzal Azhgaliyev looked fabulous--and fabulously warm--in his fur-trimmed traditional Kazakh coat with gorgeous embroidery. While it might not have been as color-impacting as what the country's last flag bearer wore at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it was still great:
Yerdov Akhmadiyev--Kazahkstan flag bearer from 2014 Sochi Olympics

2. Bermuda--At No. 2, I put Bermuda's flag bearer here in his navy blazer and yes, red Bermuda shorts. It was VERY VERY COLD in Pyeongchang so he gets points for wearing such "Summer weather' ensemble. Poor thing, just look at his nose:

It's COLD!!!!

But, this poor chap from Bermuda has NO RIGHT to complain of being cold or exposing his knees to such frigid weather when...


No. 1 Tonga--Pita Taufatofua takes the PRIZE for BEST and MOST FAB Flag Bearer at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics!! The Tongan Shirtless Hunk is BAAAACK!!!! And God Bless Him! No puffy coat, no ski hat, no boots, no UGLY Ralph Lauren gloves...just his oiled muscled torso, raffia skirt and flip flops!


 Look at the rest of his team...and look at him! GOOOOO Pita!

High Fives Pita! Please come back for the Summer Olympics. Please.

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