The 2014 Winter Olympics are fast approaching and I had an exciting Olympic moment of my own last week getting to try on one of the official US Olympic Team snowboard jackets created by Burton Snowboards. This is the third consecutive Olympics that Burton has partnered with US Ski & Snowboard Association to create the US Snowboard team uniform. They once again looked to American heritage for inspiration, choosing the patchwork quilt and the American flag.
Burton designers found their perfect vintage quilt at an antiques fair and brought it home to Vermont where it was deconstructed and re-constructed by a veteran Vermont quilt maker, who created the design that would be replicated onto the outerwear. The end result is a jacket that looks like it was hand-stitched with patchwork squares and no two jackets are alike. A duplicate of a vintage American flag is proudly featured on the jacket’s sleeve.
With the design inspiration in place, technical performance came next. Burton turned to the US Army RD&E Center to research and develop a new DRYRIDE Vaporshell laminate, which is being showcased for the first time in the Olympic Competition Jackets. Sochi is known for its unpredictable weather, and this waterproof breathable fabric has been created to stand up to anything Mother Nature decides to dole out. The corduroy that was chosen for the pant fabric, another staple of American heritage, has been weatherproofed with the same laminate. Water literally beads and rolls off it.
To round out the look, Burton also designed all items that will be worn under the jacket and pants, including first-layer bottoms and tops, three different beanies, gloves/mitts and a cozy wool/silk blend competition pull-over fleece. All are slightly reminiscent of items you might find in a New England country store. “We’re really proud that the 2014 uniform builds on Burton’s legacy of creating fun, unconventional designs that stray from the formal, traditional look of most uniforms,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards. “The vintage quilt and flag print of the jacket combined with the corduroy pants give the uniform a ‘heirloom hippy’ vibe that lines up with snowboarding’s laid-back culture while paying respect to America’s longstanding creative heritage.