Olympic hopefuls model the 2014 Olympics collection

Originally published on SportCafé.ca

Hudson's Bay unveiled Canada's Olympic and Paralympic Team's 2014 Olympics collection this past week. Eighteen Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls were on hand to model the collection. Most of the athletes are still competing to qualify for the 2014 Games, but the group of athletes present was very impressive.

(front row left to right)
Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, Moguls - 2013 World Champion (dual moguls), 2011 World silver medallist (dual moguls) 5th 2010 Vancouver Olympics
Brad Bowden, Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Basketball- 2004 Paralympic gold in wheelchair basketball, 2006 Paralympic gold in sledge hockey, 3-time Olympian, 3-time World Champion
Dylan Moscovitch.  Figure Skating Pairs - 4th 2013 World Championships
Jean-Luc Brassard, Assistant Chef de Mission - 4 time Olympian - moguls, gold medal 1994 Olympics, 44 World Cup moguls' podiums, 18 World Cup victories
Kirsten Moore-Towers, Figure Skating Pairs - 4th 2013 World Championships
Billy Bridges, Sledge Hockey - 2006 Paralympic gold in sledge hockey, 3 time Paralympian, 3 time world chamipon
Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Moguls - 3rd 2013 World Championships, 2nd WC Moguls Standing 2012, 2013

(Middle row)
John Leslie, Para-Snowboarding - 5th in his first World Cup, 2011; 8th 2012 World Championships. Para-Snowboarding makes its official Games debut in 2014.
Erin Mielzynski, Alpine Skiing - World Cup Gold Medallist 2012, World Cup Bronze, 2013
Cheryl Bernard, Curling - 2010 Olympic silver medal
Jan Hudec, Alpine Skiing - 2007 World Silver Medallist (downhill), 4-time WC Medallist, 2-time World Cup Winner including 2007 downhill at Lake Louise, 2010 Olympian
Mark Arendz, Para-Nordic Skiing and Biathlon - 2013 gold medal and two bronze medals at IPC Biathlon World Championships, 2013 overall IPC World Cup Biathlon Champion

(Back row)
Lenny Valjas, Cross-Country Skiing - Five time World Cup medallist
Brad Spence, Alpine Skiing - 2010 Canadian Champion, 12th in slalom Kitzbuehel 2010 and Alta Badia 2009, 2010 Olympian
Andrew Poje, Figure Skating Ice Dance - 4th World Championships, 2012
Kaitlyn Weaver, Figure Skating Ice Dance - 4th World Championships, 2012
Robbi Weldon, Para-Nordic Skiing and Para-cycling - Gold London 2012 Paralympic road cycling, two top-5 2010 Paralympic Games in para-nordic skiing
Jesse Lumsden, Bobsleigh - 2012 World Silver Medallist Men's Two-Man, 2010 Olympian

It was revealed that the clothing that the athletes will be wearing are made in Canada. The items for sale in stores are made in China. The more than 200 athletes competing at the Olympic Games will receive 39 items and the 55 athletes competing at the Paralympic Games will receive 32 items as part of their 2014 uniform. "This will outfit them in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, during Podium Presentations, and while hanging out in the Olympic village."

The collection showcases "Canada's iconic colours: Maple Leaf Red, Northern White and Winter Night Black" in colour-blocking patterns. With more than half of my wardrobe being black, I personally love the black accent added to the red and white in the collection.

The Maple Leaf is used throughout the collection along with the 2014 Team Crest representing sportsmanship, competition, athleticism and national pride.

The beaver, the loon and the polar bear are also featured on many items in the collection.

For the fifth Olympics, the mittens are the highlight and this year's edition looked amazing showcased in a display as we entered the venue.

Pairs figure skaters Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch were front and centre wearing the red duffel coat ($275) a single-breasted coat in wool/nylon blend with a zipper and toggle style buttons that is accented with a black stripe around the waist. The duffel coat also looked great paired with the beaver scarf ($25) that alpine skier Brad Spence wore (below).

Ice dancers Andrew Poje and Kaityn Weaver looked great in the Colour-Blocked Soft Shell Jacket ($125) that is weather resistant and warm. These jackets will be a favourite with outdoor-loving Canadians.

I would love to know what black top with the red stripe that skier Erin Mielzynski is modelling. I'm not seeing it in the collection list. Perhaps it's an athlete-only item.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe wore the women's reversible puffer jacket ($150) with a Maple Leaf Appliqué Cotton Tee ($35).

Her sister Chloé modelled the Black Marl Fleece Hoodie ($75) over a Canadian Olympic Team 2014 tee ($30) (or long-sleeve $45).

Jan Hudec was warm in the chunky knit Canada beaver sweater inspired by classic sports like skiing and curling. The Canada maple leaf and 2014 Team crest are featured on the sleeves. A curled up beaver is featured on the back (shown here by curler Cheryl Bernard). Jan also sported the team stripe tuque ($20)

Cross-country skier Lenny Valjas looked sporty in the Colour-blocked polo. This may be another athlete-only item as I don't see it in the collection.

Para-nordic skier and biathlete Mark Arendz sported the Sochi 2014 Canada Tuque ($20), the beaver scarf ($25) and a 2014 Paralympic tee ($30). For the first time, Hudson's Bay has partnered with the Canadian Paralympic Committee to design two unique tees (red for women and black for men) that feature the Canadian Paralympic Team emblem in the 2014. There is also an Olympic version of this tee with the 0 replaced by the oval Canadian Olympic Team logo.

Brad Bowden is wearing what looks like winter mittens. On the collection list, there are winter gloves ($30) described as black finger gloves with a hint of colour-blocking and Canadian symbols.

Brad Spence is wearing the Black Marl Fleece Pants ($60) with  ankle cuffs and waistband bound by two single white and red stripes.

Billy Bridges wore a colour-block hat which may be an athlete only item. Hudson's Bay is selling a black trapper hat ($45) as well as an all-red micro fleece lined beanie ($15). CANADA is showcased in the middle of the scarf that also features a fringed hem.

Most items seen at the unveiling are available at Hudson's Bay stores and at their online store, along with many other clothing items for men, women, children, youth and infants. There are also accessories like pins, bracelets, luggage tags, backpack, plush toys, fleece blankets, towels and a mittens key chain that I may not be able to resist.

I spoke with a few of the athletes afterwards and they loved the collection. Being a part of the unveiling have inspired them even more to make the Olympic Team and be in Sochi in just under 100 days to represent Canada.