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Hockey Canada unveils team jerseys for Sochi Games

Youth players model the new Canadian Olympic team hockey jerseys as they are unveiled in Toronto, Tuesday, Oct.8, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Hockey Canada officially unveiled the three new hockey jerseys for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi on Tuesday.

The trio of jerseys, including red and white jerseys with a classic maple leaf logo and an alternate black jersey that reads 'Canada' across the chest, were displayed at an event in the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto.  All three jerseys feature an arm band on the left.

"Today is the start of an absolute great adventure," said Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "In Canada, the concept of jersey is an integral part of the DNA of our nation...There is only one hockey jersey which unites us all - Canada's Olympic jersey."

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Hidden inside each jersey's collar are 12 gold maple leaves representing Hockey Canada's total number of Olympic and Paralympic gold medals – eight in men's hockey, three in women's and one in sledge.

"We want to make sure we're reflecting not only the past, but the future of where Canada and Hockey Canada want to go," said Ken Black, creative director at Nike. "The only way to do that is to dig deep, to translate historical elements into something more futuristic."

Nike said the new uniforms are the most "innovative" jerseys to date, designed to be lighter and more aerodynamic for faster and better performance. Each jersey is made from about 17 recycled plastic bottles, and they are 15 per cent lighter than previous jerseys.

"Every advantage is an advantage," said Cheryl Pounder, a two-time gold medalist for Canada's women's team. "We want speed and agility in the game of hockey. The lighter a jersey is, the better it is for us."

The new uniforms were inspired by Canada's Olympic hockey jerseys from 1920 and 1978, incorporated with new design features for a more modern look.

"Ten years from now, hopefully you look back and these jerseys will be the new classics," said Black.

Joe Nieuwendyk, a former NHL star and Olympic gold-medal winner, said no feeling compares to donning a Canadian jersey in the quest for gold on the world's largest stage.

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"As a player, there is no feeling like it to know you're representing your country," he said. "And even for Canadians, when they put that jersey on and watch Olympic hockey, they feel that sense of pride as well. It's something the whole country shares."

The Canadian women's team will open their Olympic tournament on Feb. 8, 2014 against Switzerland. The men's team face Norway in their first game on Feb. 13. Sledge hockey preliminary games are slated to begin March 8.

Hockey players will sport new jerseys at the upcoming Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi with a little help from Nike's design team. Hockey Canada and Nike officially unveiled what they called the "most innovative jerseys to date" at Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto on Tuesday.

Not only are the jerseys more aerodynamic and 15 per cent lighter than they have been in the past, but they are eco-friendly, too. (Each is made from about 17 recycled plastic bottles).

But sport science and technology aside, how do Canada's new hockey sweaters rate in terms of fashion and overall design?

Tiyana Grulovic, fashion director at Flare magazine, weighed in:

Likes

Waving flag: I like the maple leaf graphic on the red and white jerseys. The way it's done is really simple and graphic. It has been cleverly continued onto the arm, where the number will be.

Backing the black: The black jersey is really well branded. It's concise and clear. It's a great logo.

Fitting in: I like that they're fitted. In a way, they have to be anyway. But one of the best things about being an athlete is that you work really hard for your body, it's nice to put a little bit of it on display.

Dislikes

The red and white jerseys are a little bland.

So which hockey jersey prevails as the fashion winner?

"I think my favourite is the one that says Canada," Ms. Grulovic said. "I love the black with the gold and the red.

Team Canada 2014

  1. Stretch hole mesh under the arm for added ventilation
  2. Reinforced neck area provides a closer fit to prevent slipping
  3. Reduced seaming eliminates weight and creates a "more traditional blocked look"
  4. Lightweight letters and numbers reduces overall weight
  5. Each jersey is made from about 17 plastic bottles and the socks use approximately five plastic bottles
  6. Zoned ventilation and articulated sleeves for full range of motion

Team Canada 2014

Team Canada 2014 - Alternate

Illustrations by Matt Bambach
Source: Nike and icethetics.info
Compiled by Stuart A. Thompson

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