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Nike Unveils This Year's Olympic Uniforms & the Mind-Blowing Technology That Goes Into Them

Photos: Nike

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Nike unveiled their new 2016 Olympic uniforms this afternoon at an event that made me feel like I was starring — or at least an extra — in one of the Beaverton-based brand's heart-pumping commercials.

A bite-sized track circled a platform where an entire symphony sat, pounded drums, and played dramatic string music. I just ate two bags of chips and the residual effect of the music still has me feeling like a friggin' champ. The athletes were announced country by country and Real Live Olympic athletes started shuttling out to preview the new uniforms. (Seriously, watch RackedDotCom's Snapchat story.)

Kevin Durant! Modeling the new basketball kit! The new uniforms are 35% more breathable than what the Olympians wore in 2012; designers reinvented even the smallest details, like the waistband, which Olympic athletes will no longer have to worry about thanks to what Nike calls its FlyVent waistband, made out of two types of knit mesh that create something tight enough to hold the shorts up, but breathable enough to go unnoticed. The jerseys also utilize strategically placed mesh in areas determined by sweat mapping technology.

FIFA World Champion Megan Rapinoe showed off the new soccer uniforms, made made out of an entirely new thread developed by Nike. "We got right down to the filament level, " Nike's creative director Martin Lotti says via a press release. "And re-mastered it for a texturized surface that helps disband moisture better."

With the new yarn, 2016's uniforms wick sweat and dry faster than any Nike uniform ever. In part because the yarn is fuller, meaning that less of it is needed to create a uniform that isn't sheer. One of the coolest developments in Nike's soccer gear is the anti-clog technology on its cleats. Nike developers worked to create a slick surface from which mud just slides right off; the gold studs look like something an ancient Roman gladiator would wear.

Then there was Allyson Felix in the new track & field jerseys! The jerseys maximize speed by bringing down weight and making runners more aerodynamic. The gear features Nike's AeroBlades, which have been placed in the best areas determined by hours of wind-tunnel testing. Needless to say, I was truly blown away.

Take a look at the range of uniforms below and get used to seeing them up on the winner's podium come this year's summer Olympics.


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