Olympic Fashion: Big Aussie Footsteps

July 23

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MawyFSARviU It’s what’s underneath that counts. Just ask the Australian Olympians. The Aussies unveiled the secret of their London 2012 uniforms today, and it was hard not to have a lump in your throat during that video, don’t you think? The jackets are lined with the names of previous Olympic medal winners for Australia. So are the white volleyball shoes–so the athletes can walk in the footsteps of greatness. But how many people know that tiny words all cramped together are a tradition in Australia? And there’s a horse connection, too. I think more than one of the Australian eventers might be well served to have a ten dollar bill in his or her pocket as they swing into the saddle. Australians are accustomed to small type that means alot, as evidenced by the ten dollar bill, which sports the entire length of A.B. Banjo Patterson’s poem, The Man from Snowy River. Wild brumbies gallop across the colorful bill. What riders’ names might you see inside the jackets and shoes? A lot of eventers! Equestrian medalists for Australia in eventing: Laurie Morgan, Neale Lavis and Bill Roycroft (Rome 1960);?Matt Ryan, Andrew Hoy, Gillian Rolton (1992);??Hoy, Rolton, Wendy Schaeffer, Phillip Dutton (1996);?Ryan, Hoy, Dutton, and Stuart Tinney (2000);??Megan Jones,?Clayton Fredericks, Sonja Johnson,?Lucinda Fredericks?and?Shane Rose?(2008). The Australians might not have the designer names like Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, who designed team uniforms for the USA and Great Britain, respectively. But when it comes to trading gear, I don’t think you’ll find too many Aussies willing to trade their team jackets or their shoes for anything in the world. Except maybe a gold medal.

Team Australia will be shod in white volleyball shoes. What you can’t see but they can: the insoles are printed with the names of medal-winning Australian athletes of the past. So they can follow in their footsteps…
Wild horses–Australian “brumbies”–gallop across the Australian ten dollar bill, which bears the image of outback poet laureate A.B. “Banjo” Patterson. But look closer: in the background behind Banjo, in the tiniest script you’ve ever not been able to see, are the words to Patterson’s great epic poem about Australian horsemanship, “The Man from Snowy River”. Maybe you’ve seen the movie?
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