Chad le Clos ready to ‘rock and roll’ in new SA Olympic gear
CAPE TOWN - “It’s a hell of a lot better than we’ve had over the last couple of years!” That was the reassuring word from star swimmer Chad le Clos yesterday on the new kit that Team South Africa will wear at the Tokyo Olympics.
Mzansi’s Olympic stars will be hoping that those baggy, ill-fitting tracksuits are a thing of the past after Mr Price Sport was unveiled in Durban yesterday as the official apparel partner of the South African team for the next four years.
The deal will include landmark events such as the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics later this year, the 2023 Africa Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics.
The Tokyo Olympics will mark the first time that athletes will wear locally developed athletic apparel at the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as on the medal podium.
There was controversy surrounding the kit at the last two Olympics, London 2012 and Rio 2016, when Chinese manufacturers Erke and then 361 Degrees supplied the clothing, where the tracksuits in particular were criticised for being oversized and unfashionable.
But now they should look much more respectable in Japan. “It’s amazing to be part of this, and I’m excited that my family and fans can wear the kit during the Olympics – they are going to be selling it in the stores, so that’s a huge plus for everyone,” prime medal hope Le Clos said at the announcement yesterday.
“It’s been quite tough as Covid hasn’t helped, so training has been quite difficult over the last 12 months. But we’ve made a plan, and we’ve got to a point where we are ready to go.
“So, I think whatever happens come July, I will be ready to rock and roll. We will see what happens, and I will do my family and my country proud, and showcase my skills.”