In the following months, Sochi 2014 will come in the news more often than ever, as the time of the countdown draws near. With the event, everything remotely related will be dissected and analyzed. As it happens, the German Olympic uniform for Sochi 2014 is seen as “pro-gay” by international media. Olympic officials, however, denied any intent of political statement. But no one seems to see the true, disturbing, issue with these uniforms, which are supposedly inspired by the “great atmosphere” of the 1972 Munich Summer Games. Do you remember the Munich massacre?
Whether the intent to make a pro-gay statement was there or not, there’s no denying that the uniforms appear excessively colorful. Among the supporters of the national team, there are voices that argue the need of a traditional gold, red, and black uniform. However, most people see the outfits pictured above as a clear protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws, and applaud the team for showing Putin and Russia that Germany is “bunt” (colorful).
The uniforms, designed by Willy Bogner, are supposed to be a “celebratory design, inspired by the great atmosphere” of the 1972 Munich Summer Games. Why would anyone choose to celebrate Olympics so closely related with the Munich massacre is beyond understanding.
The atmosphere of the 1972 Munich Summer Games was anything but great. It is very surprising that no one who looks at these uniforms and listens to Bogner’s claims that they were inspired by the atmosphere of the 1972 Summer Games doesn’t remember the eleven Israeli athletes and coaches who died at the hands of Black September. If Bogner was inspired at all by the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, these uniforms are truly in bad taste. They shouldn’t be colorful at all: they should be a homage to the athletes whose lives were taken abruptly, and unfairly. They should also be a reminder of that racism, politics, and intolerance have no place in any Olympic games. They should not instigate controversy, but celebrate fair play.
Russia’s anti-gay laws are as bad as these uniforms celebrated by the pro-gay community with so much enthusiasm. It is very unlikely that Bogner was inspired by the “great atmosphere” of the 1972 Munich Summer Games – the statement came long after the fashion show on October 1st, when the uniforms were revealed. The statement was a PR move, a spin, made as a response of media speculation that the rainbow-like uniforms were pro-gay and anti-Russia. And, if you think about it, the statement only made things worse. Describing the atmosphere of the 1972 Munich Summer Games as “great” is offensive. If anything, the colors of the uniforms were inspired by the colors of the 1972 Munich Olympics. But all’s well that ends well, isn’t it? Bogner almost got away with it, as the world is more preoccupied with criticizing the uniforms as “ugly” or applauding their “hidden” political statement, which the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) denies so vehemently.