London Olympics uniform inspired by Grenadier Guards and the Beatles

Powered by article titled “London Olympics uniform inspired by Grenadier Guards and the Beatles” was written by Owen Gibson, Olympics editor, for The Guardian on Tuesday 22nd November 2011 17.20 UTC

The Olympics uniforms to be worn by 70,000 volunteers and 6,000 staff next summer are influenced by the Grenadier Guards, the Beatles and Henley regatta, according to London 2012 organisers.

The Adidas outfits for the so-called Games Makers and London organising committee staff unveiled on Tuesday have a vaguely military theme, with colour-coded epaulettes to identify different groups, and large coloured cuffs.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said the uniforms were intentionally more traditional than the more modern, somewhat divisive designs for the logo and mascots.

“Our primary consideration here is practicality,” he said. “The key word is uniform – it is something that people are going to go to work in for 10 hours solid, performing a variety of roles from meeting heads of state to making sure a bus is in the right spot.

“The most important thing is that the people who wear it feel good in it. That also explains why we went for heritage with a modern twist. This feels like London. The purple says to me royalty and heritage. The poppy red says Grenadier Guards and Sergeant Pepper.”

It emerged recently that the volunteers would be working alongside thousands of uniformed military personnel who have been drafted to help fill a shortfall in the number of security staff at the Games.

Adidas, which will also design the kit for Team GB, has developed a blue and white version of the outfit for judges and officials. They will also wear a formal outfit, designed by fellow 2012 sponsor Next, for the ceremonies and to officiate the tennis tournament at Wimbledon.

The formal wear is described as being “inspired by British heritage with a modern twist”, with landmarks including Big Ben engraved into the buttons and the London skyline embroidered under the collar.

Both manufacturers said they had attempted to make the uniforms “as sustainable as possible”.

The London organising committee is still in the process of whittling down 250,000 applicants to the final list of 70,000 volunteers. About 30,000 have been notified of their place.

Deighton said they were “incredibly important” in setting the tone of the Games. “They are absolutely the face of the Games,” he said. “They make the difference and turn what would otherwise be a good Games into a great Games. The people we have got are absolutely fantastic.”

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