Australians’ jersey finalized for Paris Olympics 2024

When Australian Olympians participate in the upcoming Paris Games, they will don jersey and uniforms adorned with creations by Indigenous artists. Notably, this marks a departure from the conventional “boys’ uniform” that did not suit them well, as highlighted by rugby sevens captain Charlotte Caslick, a gold medalist from the Rio 2016 Olympics. Unveiled in Sydney, the new Olympic attire includes designs by artist and boxer Paul Fleming and Torres Strait Islander artist David Bosun.

Fleming’s design, named “Walking Together,” symbolizes the Olympics’ ability to bring people together from diverse countries and cultures. Bosun’s artwork reflects a blend of traditional and contemporary life in the Torres Strait Islands, with all lines converging on the Dhan, a significant cultural item. Rugby sevens player Maurice Longbottom expressed excitement about representing his culture on the world stage through the unique design.

Caslick emphasized the empowering nature of having a dress option, particularly considering rugby’s historical association with male-centric sports. The uniforms, created in collaboration between Japan-based sports apparel manufacturer Asics and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), also incorporate a traditional Japanese arrow pattern, known as yagasuri, symbolizing strength, momentum, and determination.

Kyle Vander-Kuyp, a member of the AOC’s Indigenous advisory committee, was pleasantly surprised by the athletes’ enthusiasm for Indigenous design. Former medal-winning cyclist and 2024 chef de mission Anna Meares described the uniforms as indicative of the nation’s cultural harmony, reflecting the interweaving of Indigenous design into the fabric of Australian culture.

Bronze medalist javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber mentioned that the kit instills confidence, a crucial element when competing. Athletes praised the jersey and uniforms for being lightweight, comfortable, and designed with advanced ventilation technology to suit the specific range of motion required for individual sports.

Eileen Cikamatana, an Olympic weightlifting hopeful, lauded her lifting shirt, featuring a stripe from Fleming’s designs, as the “best shirt I’ve ever worn.” The AOC’s constitution was amended in 2021 to guarantee spots for one Indigenous and one Torres Strait Islander athlete in the commission, aiming to enhance diversity in sports.

The release of track uniforms will be followed by the unveiling of the contingent’s official opening ceremony uniforms and blazers, designed by the fashion brand Sportscraft in recent years.

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