The secretary-general of the nation’s Olympic Committee said on Sunday that he respected an online critique of the outfits the Taiwanese athletes wore at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday.
Kevin Chen (陳國儀) said he had no comment on opinions about how the national team were dressed because “views on fashion designs vary from person to person.”
However, Chen said that the committee respected the criticism by a blogger on Yahoo Sports and would seek to improve in the future.
In the article by Greg Wyshynski titled “Best and Worst Dressed Olympic Nations in Sochi Opening Ceremony,” the writer described Taiwan’s team as being dressed like painters and decorators.
“From a distance, we assumed they had just gotten back from choir practice. These floor-length coats are neither practical nor attractive, unless of course you’re planning on doing some house painting or joining a cult for the winter,” Wyshynski wrote.
The blue uniforms were sponsored by Mizuno (Taiwan) Corp, Chen said, explaining that Taiwan had only a minimal budget for the Olympics and was not out to make a splash with the uniforms.
The committee was extremely grateful simply to have a company help sponsor the team’s presence in Sochi, Chen said.
Mizuno (Taiwan) manager Yang Fu-cheng (楊富程) said the outfits supplied by his company were imported from Japan because Taiwan does not produce the overcoat that was used. Though the overcoat was criticized for its appearance, Yang said its blue color was representative of Taiwan and it was highly functional, with a wind-resistant design able to keep athletes warm in the cold environment.
Mizuno is a Japanese sports equipment and sportswear brand.