She wore the athletic gear well.
Not only did she win the whole thing but she made a statement while doing it at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene.
I am referring to Sanya Richard’s dominant win in the women’s 400-meters, that silenced critics and her own personal doubts after failing to qualify for World Championship team last year.
This year could not have been more different than last year for the former University of Texas 400-meter runner.
This time around Sanya made a big fashion statement with her uniform and gear as she reclaimed her star status after a year lost to illness. Wearing one of Nike's half-Space Age (forearm covers), half-wonky (knee-high black socks) uniforms, Richards brought down the house at Hayward Field while winning the 400.
There is history behind the athletic gear and the timing, A certain women by the name of Flo Jo made speed fashionable. As Richards crossed the finish line in the fresh Nike gear, the moment immediately conjured up memories of Flo Jo crossing the finish line at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials. Flo Jo captivated the world with her racing outfits, she wore one leg outfits, fluorescent, and some of them where even lace.
Was this display a precursor to Olympic gold for Richards?
Nike chose their leading lady to debut the Nike uniform the U.S. track and film uniform— complete with the dimpled-fabric arm coverings and calf warmers that the company says provide aerodynamic advantages. The swift gloves and swift socks that are made to reduce drag in the wind.
The accessories don't just look good they are practical. Wearing arm covering while running in the August heat may seem counterproductive, but tests show that the sleeves reduce drag by 19% over bare arms, and the long socks reduce drag by 12.5%. Nike figures the improvements in the garments since the 2004 Olympics in Athens will mean a benefit of .02 seconds in the 100 meter race.
The front of Sanya’s uniform worn in Eugene is the “Nike We the People Graphic” that is to appear on the back of the uniforms of the 2008 track and field Olympic uniforms, which are provided by Nike, of course. Unfortunately it may be difficult to see on the Olympic uniforms because it’s blue on blue, but at least some people will got a glimpse before the Games.
The “Nike We the People Graphic” draws inspiration from a number of cultural elements and design influences to create a bold aesthetic specific to the USA. The graphic, created by Design Director Mark Smith, leverages Nike’s Aerographics technology.
With Aerographics, Nike designers incorporated mesh directly into a garment without any extra materials or added weight. Both the “Nike We the People Graphic” and Aerographics technology are highlighted in the 2008 USA Basketball, Track and Field, Softball and BMX team uniforms.
Specific elements of the design include: the Statue of Liberty, represented by the torch, stars and stripes representing the 50 American states, decorative elements from our nations’ currency, the olive branch and arrows from the talons of the American eagle in the Presidential seal, and the Celtic, African and Native American symbols and influences.
Sanya has a million dollar smile and the athletic gear to show off as well. Hopefully the world and most importantly the advertisers on Madison Avenue will recognize her star power in Beijing.
By Jay Hicks.