Australian pitcher Tarni Stepto was part of the SPORTSCRAFT and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) unveiling of the highly anticipated Official Opening Ceremony Uniforms for The Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020 at Sydney’s Wylie’s Baths.
Nine athletes from Olympic medallists to those making their Olympic debut in Tokyo showcased the striking uniforms, marking the eighth time iconic Australian lifestyle fashion brand SPORTSCRAFT have designed the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony uniforms for the Australian Team.
Stepto is part of the 23 strong squad of aspiring Olympic softballers heading to Japan for a training camp in Ota City before a final team of 15 will be selected for the Aussie Spirit’s fifth Olympic appearance.
SPORTSCRAFT worked closely with athletes and the AOC for more than two years to design the uniforms, ensuring that the look not only reflects our Australian heritage and lifestyle, but that form and functionality was a key consideration.
With Tokyo getting hot and humid in summer, SPORTSCRAFT’S main focus was to ensure the athletes are comfortable whilst wearing their uniforms.
The design process was inspired by the electric lights, vibrant colours and bustling atmosphere synonymous with Tokyo. In order to ensure the uniforms represented the Australian culture, SPORTSCRAFT opted for a minimalist and timeless design, whilst creating impact by showcasing Australia’s iconic green and gold colours. The angles used in the designs were inspired by Japan’s famous Shibuya Crossing intersection, along with elements of the Southern Cross.
This year, SPORTSCRAFT opted for a relaxed shirt design to reflect the casual, laid-back Australian lifestyle. The shirt features a tailored fit, that can be worn with or without a tie or scarf. The shirts were designed to complement the comfortable, semi-formal shorts, which can be worn with or without the blazer. In keeping with tradition, SPORTSCRAFT have designed two separate outfits for athletes to select from. Depending on their preferred preference, females can choose from either a dress or a shirt and short combination – something not offered to many athletes.
The hero piece is the tailored, bespoke blazer which features the names of the 320 Australian Olympic Gold medallists in the jacket lining.
Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman AM says unveiling the uniform was a fantastic milestone for athletes on their journey to Tokyo.
“Australian athletes treasure the opportunity to wear the Australian Olympic uniform and Sportscraft have produced a uniform our athletes will be proud of,” Mr Chesterman said.
“Sportscraft is an iconic brand with a proud history of outfitting the Australian Olympic Team, and I’m sure Australian athletes will be thrilled with the uniform for Tokyo.
“The uniform is the result of an excellent collaborative process, with Sportscraft involving athletes throughout the development of the design, ensuring it only looks great, but also suits the practical needs of athletes.
“The design has a distinct Australian feel and I look forward to the Australian community seeing the official Australian Olympic uniforms for Tokyo 2020.
“After the challenges athletes have faced in making it to the Games, putting on this uniform will be a special milestone for the Australian Olympic Team members.”
Today’s reveal incorporated Australia’s rich Olympic history – with the ocean pool of Wylie’s baths where one of Australia’s first ever female Olympians Mina Wylie learnt to swim, with the 1912 Olympic silver medallist training in the pool built by and named after her father.
Elisha Hopkinson, Managing Director SPORTSCRAFT said, “It is with great pleasure and pride that SPORTSCRAFT have the opportunity to partner with the Australian Olympic Committee for the 8th time in dressing Australia’s most incredible sporting talent for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”
“Sportscraft embodies the best of Australian lifestyle. We value this moment of partnering with the AOC as an opportunity to build on the camaraderie that our nation is known for.”
Putting Australia’s best foot forward, SPORTSCRAFT will be accompanied by iconic sneaker brand Volley Australia, the official footwear partner for the Opening and Closing Ceremony uniform for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Founded in 1939, Volley Australia has graced the tennis courts across the globe and taken our homegrown legends to the heights of success. Considered to be ‘The Sole of Australia’ this partnership seems only fitting for the brand and they are honoured to join SPORTSCRAFT on the world’s greatest sporting stage.
Dual Olympic medallist Jess Fox said wearing the Sportscraft uniform helped connect to Australia’s Olympic past and provide inspiration.
“It’s so special to wear a jacket that has the name of every Australian Olympic champion written on the lining, From Edwin Flack right through” Fox said. “They’re on your back, I feel like they’ve got my back – all of us that get a chance to wear this jacket are carrying on the Australian legacy.”
“It also then stokes our own dream and that desire to have our own names etched there for future Olympic generations.”
Taekwondo athlete and dual Olympian Safwan Khalil loved the unique style Sportscraft brought to the 2020 design.
“This kit just looks and feels amazing, it’s so exciting to be here to launch the uniform,” Khalil said. “I’ve worn Sportscraft at London and Rio and they perfectly captured the style of the host – and this just feels perfect for Tokyo.”
“Trying on the uniform today, it makes Tokyo feel so much closer and I can’t wait to get there.”
Athletes showcasing the uniforms were:
- Jess Fox (Canoe Slalom)
- Bendere Oboya (Athletics – 400m)
- Dan Watkins (Canoe Slalom)
- Safwan Khalil (Taekwondo)
- George Ford (Water Polo)
- Gronya Somerville (Badminton)
- Keesja Gofers (Water Polo)
- Tarni Stepto (Softball)
- Lachlan Tame (Canoe Slalom)