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Germany's colorful Winter Olympic uniforms not pro-gay, officials say

Photo via Twitter

The German Winter Olympics team unveiled its uniforms in Dusseldorf this week, prompting one newspaper to label them "a cross between a pot-bellied pig and a parrot." Others saw the rainbow in them, suggesting they were a protest against Russia's anti-gay laws. Not so, the German Olympic committee said.

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), however, disputes any political message that could be read into the uniforms. The DOSB spokesperson, Christian Klaue, told Die Tageszeitung that "the uniforms are not a protest," and said that the designs had been finalized before the Russia protests had even begun. Michael Vesper, general director of the DOSB, said, "This is just a fashionable jacket."...

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.

I think this was nothing more than a fashion statement. The designer told Der Spigel that they are a homage to the colorful aesthetics of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Given the lead time between a design being approved and the uniforms produced, it's a stretch to see that they have anything to do with laws that weren't passed until this summer.

I like the uniforms since they stand out and will only be seen by people once. The fact that they could be interpreted as pro gay is only a plus.