Hockey Canada unveils sweaters to be worn at Vancouver Olympics

VANCOUVER — It’s a jersey designed for Canada’s hockey teams at the 2010 Winter Olympics, but John Furlong believes they could become a fashion statement Canadians will proudly wear long after the Games are gone.

Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games CEO John Furlong speaks after Team Canada's 2010 Olympic and Paralympic jerseys were unveiled in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — It’s a jersey designed for Canada’s hockey teams at the 2010 Winter Olympics, but John Furlong believes they could become a fashion statement Canadians will proudly wear long after the Games are gone.

Hockey Canada officially tore the wrapping off its Olympic jerseys Monday, giving Canadians a look at the sweater the men’s and women’s hockey teams will wear at the Games. The same jersey will be worn by the sledge hockey players at the Paralympics.

“It just isn’t a magnificent hockey sweater, it’s a great fan sweater,” said Furlong, the chief executive officer for the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee, known locally as VANOC.

“This is a sweater you will see on the street, in restaurants, at every sporting event during the Games. I think it will be one we all want and we will all remember. We will pull it out of the drawer 20 or 30 years in the future and remind ourselves we wore that sweater at the Olympics.”

Amplified music thundered over speakers as two gigantic replicas of the sweaters were hoisted behind a stage at UBC Thunderbird Arena, one of the facilities that will host hockey during the Games.

The dominate feature of the jersey is a large, red Maple Leaf crest on the chest, which is embossed with artwork.

Inside the crest are smaller Maple Leafs, representing the hockey gold medals Canada hopes to win at the Games. There is a thunderbird and an eagle, two symbols important in First Nation culture, and a hockey player with a stick.

Debra Sparrow, a Musqueam artist, and Stuart Iwasaki of Nike collaborated on the logo.

“It’s designed from history that reflects our First Nations people,” said Sparrow. “If you look at the eagle, it’s pretty cross-cultural and represents something that is very strong and soars to the best it can, higher than anyone.

“I think that’s the focus of the athletes and why we chose that design to be forefront.”

The sweater has striping across the sleeves and bottom. It also features the Vancouver 2010 and Canadian Olympic Committee marks.

Above the Maple Leaf is a Nike swoosh. VANOC announced during the unveiling they have signed Nike Canada, the maker of the jerseys, as an official supplier.

In addition to the jerseys, Nike will supply the organizing committee with other high-performance sporting goods.

The sweater will only be used for the Olympics. Hockey Canada will return to its traditional sweater and logo of a hockey player skating through a black and red Maple Leaf at other international competitions.

After using its logo on international sweaters for the past 14 years, Hockey Canada was forced to come up with a new design to comply with International Olympic Committee rules.

National logos are not permitted on uniforms at the Games and the IOC began cracking down at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing when it restricted the uniforms worn by the Argentine and Brazilian soccer teams.

The final design was Hockey Canada’s fifth attempt at finding a compromise to the IOC’s rule.

“We have developed a design that while not a major departure from our current jersey incorporates imagery in a different and meaningful way,” said Scott Smith, Hockey Canada’s senior executive vice-president.

Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada’s president, said he thinks players will be proud to wear the new sweater.

He also said the partnership involving VANOC and Nike will be “a grand opportunity for Hockey Canada from a revenue point of view.”

Some of the excitement of the unveiling was spoiled when photos of the sweater appeared on a hockey blog last week.

But that didn’t stop Elisa Testa, a seven-year-old hockey player from Coquitlam, B.C., from enthusiastically endorsing the new kit.

“It’s cool,” said Testa, who along with Cole MacEwen, 11, modelled the sweaters. “It has a big Maple Leaf and it says Canada.

“It represents our country. It represents hockey.”

Furlong said the deal with Nike falls into the supplier category and is worth between $3 million and $15 million.

Just Posted

Forest fire smoke alert for Central Alberta

Poor air quality and reduced visibility

Ponoka liquor store robbed

One suspect charged so far

Women’s Outreach looking for school supplies for low income Central Albertans

With the back-to-school season upon us, Women’s Outreach is looking to the… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Turning on Trump doesn’t buy credibility for black Americans

WASHINGTON — For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side,… Continue reading

Senior Chinese monk accused of sexual misconduct quits post

BEIJING — One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from… Continue reading

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was… Continue reading

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

GENOA, Italy — Italian emergency workers pulled two more bodies out of… Continue reading

Constellation Brands spending $5 billion to increase stake in Canopy Growth

SMITH FALLS, Ont. — Constellation Brands has signed a deal to invest… Continue reading

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

TORONTO — When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her… Continue reading

Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

TORONTO — The case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who faces three… Continue reading

Fredericton woman recounts terrifying moments after gunshots rang out

FREDERICTON — She awoke to the crack of gunfire, the shots fired… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month