Team Canada and Nike officially unveiled the 2014 Winter Olympic hockey jersey at a press event in Toronto earlier today. The jerseys match those that had been leaked in various photos during the month of September.
The three jerseys are all taking inspiration from “iconic designs of vintage Canadian jerseys”.
“When designing the new uniforms, we were very purposeful in our approach of blending Canada’s rich hockey history and tradition with the performance needs of today’s athletes,” – Ken Black, Sr. Creative Director at Nike
As we saw with the earlier leaks the jerseys contain a “faux lacing” and sublimated maple leaves design, all part of Nike’s plan to make the jerseys lighter while still incorporating graphics. They call it a “flywire modern collar” resulting in a jersey 15% lighter than those worn at the 2010 Olympic Games. Frankly, it would’ve looked better (and been even lighter) had they just not put either the “laces” or shoulder leaves on the jersey at all.
“The new Olympic and Paralympic jersey is an emblem of Canada’s passion for hockey. Not only are we proud of the athletes who wear the jersey, but I encourage all Canadians to wear it to show support for our players. These jerseys are distinctly Canadian and will ignite our nation’s pride each time Canada’s athletes take to the ice” - Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada’s President and CEO
The pants are all black, the socks are a bizarre design — a small stripe of the opposite jersey colour at the top of the sock with a strip of black followed by the jersey colour all the way down the sock. Whatever happened to jersey colour with two thin horizontal contrasting coloured stripes in the middle?
The designs of the three jerseys were officially explained as such:
“The iconic red jersey celebrates the rich history of hockey in Canada. From the vintage-inspired logo on the new lightweight front crest to the Canadian flag on the sleeve and the maple leaf graphics on the shoulders, the new jersey represents Canada from top to bottom.”
“Unmistakably Canadian, the white jersey is the perfect complement to the red. With ‘Canada’ standing out proudly in red on the white background of the front logo and the country’s colours flowing through the asymmetrical stripe on the left arm, this jersey is a perfect representation of the pride Canadians feel when it comes to hockey.”
“Inspired by memorable vintage Team Canada jerseys, this jersey will inspire our Olympians to win again. The bold ‘Canada’ word mark on the chest reminds the world of Canada’s hockey heritage ["or of the country's name", as Clark Rasmussen so eloquently put it], while the gold piping on the badges and gold maple leaf on the shoulders remind the world of Canada’s goal to win gold medals in Sochi.”
One thing I noticed from this unveiling versus the leaks — no golden maple leaves on the front of the jersey, sounds like they’ll be inside of the collar for the in-game version. Basically this means the jersey you purchase (or don’t purchase) at the store won’t look exactly like what the players are wearing on the ice. It was also confirmed during the press event that the 12 leaves are what we originally thought, representative of the 12 gold medals the Olympic and Paralympic teams have won over the years.
Unfortunately the models at the event did not have any name/number cresting on the backs of their jerseys, so we’ll still have to wait to see how it looks with those sometime in the future.