When a celebrity wears a surprisingly memorable outfit, it can be difficult to forget, like Britney Spears' almost entirely transparent bodysuit in her music video for "Toxic." However, when an athlete is spotted wearing something flashy that's not sportswear, the most memorable Olympics uniforms of the 2000s go down in the history books.
When it comes to Olympic athletes, spectators often put them on a pedestal. But the truth is, athletes are people, too, and in addition to being average folks with families, dreams, and problems of their own, they will also look quirky if you put them in a flamboyant costume.
When I talk about "memorable" Olympics uniforms, there are a few factors that help me classify an outfit as such. For an Olympics uniform to be memorable, it must either be stunningly beautiful, hideous, or just plain bizarre. Of course, nowadays, we could look back at tons of outdated Olympics uniforms and deem them "memorable" because they summed up the fashions and trends of the time period.
But today, let's delve into the archives and drag out the most gorgeous, garish, and strangely show-stopping ensembles in Olympic history. Because even athletes have good days and bad days when it comes to fashion.
1. USA's 2014 Winter Olympics Uniforms
While some critics were not amused by Team USA's cardigans, I actually think they're quite kitsch in an ironic "my granny knitted this for me" kind of way.
2. Japan's 2004 Olympics Uniforms
This super feminine uniform, worn by the Japanese team at the 2004 Olympics, looks like it was made by Cath Kidston. Am I the only one getting major The Powerpuff Girls vibes from the trio of pastel shades? I watch way too many cartoons...
3. Morocco's 1992 Olympics Uniforms
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Morocco's Olympic Team looking rad in olive green capes. Well, Olympians are practically superheroes, right?
4. Mexico's 2012 Olympics Uniforms
The Mexican delegation at the 2012 Olympic Games was like a walking rainbow.
5. Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics Uniforms
Although Russia's delegation looked furiously festive at the 2014 Winter Olympics, they also looked adorably whimsical, too.
6. Malaysia's 2012 Olympics Uniforms
It's safe to say Malaysia's athletes were looking fierce in their tiger-striped 2012 Olympics uniforms. I'm not really sure what's going on with those kooky hats, though.
7. Germany 2014 Winter Olympics Uniforms
Some may say Germany's 2014 Winter Olympics uniforms were garish, but IMO, they were utterly joyful. There's nothing wrong with a rainbow-colored costume.
8. Hungary's 2008 Olympics Uniforms
There's something a little macabre about the red pattern on Hungary's 2008 uniforms that reminds me of horror movies that don't end well.
9. Japan's 2000 Olympics Uniforms
According to one of my favorite English comedians, it's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho and I reckon this extends to multicolored capes as well.
10. Australia's 2016 Olympics Uniforms
11. Johnny Weir's 2006 Winter Olympics Swan Costume
Although not technically an Olympics uniform, Johnny Weir needs a special mention for wearing a swan-inspired costume at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Because let's face it: Nobody will ever look this elegant while wearing a single red glove.
What sartorial treasures will this year's Olympic Games bring? Only time will tell...