Germany unveiled the design for its team's 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics uniforms last week, and as you can see from the photo above, they're quite eye-catching. Officials insist that the rainbow-colored uniforms do not represent any kind of a protest against Russia's draconian anti-LGBT laws, but many people are interpreting them as exactly that. Der Spiegel reports:
The uniforms were created by German designer Willy Bogner, in cooperation with Adidas and the shoe company Sioux. Bogner claims they were an homage to the aesthetics of the 1972 Munich Summer Games and said he wanted to create a "celebratory design, inspired by the great atmosphere of the times." It conveniently comes in the wake of Munich's announcement that it will bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which, if it is successful, would make it the first city ever to have hosted both the winter and summer games.
But other commentators have seen a more explicitly political message in the uniforms. On Twitter, German users interpreted the uniforms "as a rainbow pattern" and as a "clear political statement." "Looks great, like a gay and lesbian pride parade," wrote one user. "Extremely hideous -- but a well-intentioned move supporting the rights of gays and lesbians," wrote another. The official description, which claims the outfits "were created using colors and materials specially tailored to the conditions in Sochi" seemed to, in ambiguous fashion, support that interpretation.
What do you think? Are Germany's rainbow Olympics uniforms a crazy coincidence or a silent protest of Russia's mistreatment of LGBT people?