The Olympics are an exciting occasion for almost everyone involved — the athletes, the viewers, and, well, essentially the whole world. The opening ceremony of the Olympics brings together people from all corners of the world who are excelling in their individual sports. The opening and closing ceremonies themselves are a lot of pomp and circumstance, but the tradition and prestige of the ceremony is followed all around the world for a reason. It's a celebration of passion and talent from every country, and one of the only such gatherings of its kind. The Olympics are exciting for the competition, of course, but also for the diversity of cultures and people. It's basically a giant celebration and, like any good party, there are over-the-top outfits to go along with it as well.
This year's Team USA opening ceremony jackets have officially been announced, and in true Olympic fashion, they are both innovative and state-of-the-art. Specifically, the 2018 opening ceremony jackets are heated this year. Yes, heated. If you've ever had an electric blanket, or even just sat under a heat lamp on a cold day, you know how amazing this is. The opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics are, naturally, pretty darn cold. And this year in PyeongChang, South Korea should be no different, making the heated jacket particularly helpful. In addition to the self-warming jacket, the rest of the opening ceremony looks include a thick winter sweater, cowboy-like gloves, a beanie, and leather boots with red laces. The entire ensemble is red, white, and blue from head to toe. Naturally.
The looks, designed by Polo by Ralph Lauren, were revealed on TODAY by three Team USA athletes. All looked comfortable and warm in the outfits. And, of course, with the heated technology, how could they not? According to the Team USA website, the athletes are able to control the jackets themselves, given that the coats have different heat settings.
"In a process developed exclusively for Ralph Lauren, the heating system is made from electronic printed conductive inks, printed in the shape of an American flag in carbon and silver ink and bonded to the interior of the jackets," a press release on the Team USA site reads. "The printed conductive inks are flexible and stretchable, and connect to a battery pack with three settings. With water-repellent properties and featuring 11 hours of heating time at full charge and immediate heat, the jackets are truly functional pieces for America’s brightest athletes."
Between the heat-controlled jackets, the USA-labeled beanies, the gloves that look like they are supposed to be worn at Professional Bull Riding events, and the boots... well, the athletes are going to be toasty AF.
I know what you're thinking, though. And yes, we, as regular people and not superhuman athletes, can buy this whole ensemble, too. Everything from the jeans to the very over-the-top gloves are going to be available for purchase at RalphLauren.com and TeamUSAShop.com, according to the Team USA press release.
While not every item is currently on the Ralph Lauren site (the heated coat and the leather gloves appear to be coming soon, for example), you can purchase the Team USA opening ceremony jeans, sweater, shirt, and boots right now, as well as some other Team USA-branded items. The prices range from $145 for the shirt to $595 for the sweater, so it's safe to say this collection isn't exactly for bargain hunters. It is, however, for anyone who loves the Olympics or is interested in owning a little piece of history.
If the sweater's price is any indication, the heated jacket isn't going to be a steal, per se. But with such innovative technology, it just might be worth investing in during these cold winter months.