Rainbow Uniforms for German Olympians: Political Statement or Fashion Choice?

German Olympics. Image via GLReview.

German Olympic Uniforms. Image via GLReview.

A rainbow seems to have rained down on the uniforms to be worn by German athletes in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Fashion critics say the design is rather hideous, but that’s a relatively minor point in the international debate that has since erupted, trying to figure out whether the rainbow-inspired threads are a subversive statement on Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” policy in the international games.

The German Olympic Sports Confederation says the uniforms are simply “a bold fashion choice” as reported by BuzzFeed. The official statement explains, “The colors of the Sochi-outfits reflect the exotic landscape of Sochi: turquoise blue of the Black Sea, hot yellow of the sun and sand, lush green of the palms topped by the cool white of the Caucasus Mountains.” The statement even shamelessly implies that it’s a way to draw more attention to German athletes in a sea of competitors, with bright neon colors that will stand out against darks and neutrals. Nevertheless, they’ve included the clause “Everybody may read into it want he wants” into the statement.

Others maintain that it must—simply must—be a subtle jab at the highly criticized anti-gay policy instated by Russia which has been decried by LGBT activists ever since the new anti-propaganda law passed over the summer.

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