Skateboarding is just one of five new sports making its debut this summer at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. To celebrate its debut and ensure its competitors perform in style, Nike has partnered with a number of well-known artists and athletes to create unique attire for a sport that isn’t typically associated with having a specific uniform. Most notably, Nike worked closely with the likes of Dutch artist and ex-skateboarder, Piet Parra, as well as the talented Sean Malto, and Matthew Williams. “Skating has been such an individual thing, it's all personal preference and your style - the clothing matches the style of your skating," says Malto.
In all of Nike’s kits for the games, the materials are centred around sustainable innovation. The designs are environmentally friendly, using one hundred per cent recycled polyester and pattern efficiencies to ensure minimal wastage, while still creating bold visual effects. With roaring hot temperatures anticipated this summer, Nike also say that one of their main objectives was to create uniforms that would be lightweight and breathable. "Nike has been working with us to try to figure out the best possible outfit to feel comfortable in to feel like we look good and if you look good, there's a side psychological way of performing as well," says Malto. "We're pushing ourselves to the limit - it's a dangerous sport anyway, and then adding hot humid weather makes it a little more extreme."
Nike has created uniforms for the three countries bringing skateboarding teams to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - the United States, France, and Brazil. Nike and Piet Parra’s collaborative designs are intended to be unique to each country’s style and pay homage to each of their sporting history.
Team USA’s kit is focused around the concept of “freedom”. Its colours are borrowed from the stars and stripes flag, as well as other related shades. It also features a bald eagle on the bottom left of the shirt and country code on the sleeve. The French uniform takes inspiration from a traditional tennis polo with a modern twist. Tricolour colours are present throughout, with a flag placed on the left sleeve and the Gallic Cockerel on the chest. Meanwhile, Brazil’s colourful uniform pays homage to what its country is most famous and widely recognised for… football. Their design features the country’s national symbol of a toucan, stitched into the shirts to represent happiness. It features colours reminiscent of its national flag - yellow, green, and blue.
"We're pushing ourselves to the limit - it's a dangerous sport anyway, and then adding hot humid weather makes it a little more extreme."
All of the skateboarding attire will be paired with Bruin Reacts. These shoes which feature a suede upper part and a react foam sole covered in a zonal herringbone pattern to provide traction. Nike created the shoes with the knowledge that athletes like to feel the board through their shoes while they move. "Obviously skaters like to feel their board, but there are some important pressure points in the arch of the foot where React will then perform," says Nike. These shoes as well as the exuberant kits for all the competing federations will no doubt usher skateboarding into the Olympic Games in style.
So, with a glimpse at one of the five collections for skateboarding's grand debut, our excitement for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has skyrocketed. We cannot wait to see these beautiful creations in the flesh, worn by the talented Olympic competitors as they skate their way into the history books. What do you think of Nike's uniform designs? Are you excited to see skateboarding in the Olympics this summer? Let us know in the comments below! We'd love to hear your thoughts.