Malaysia moves to address 'ugly and uninspiring' Olympic kit after public outcry


Malaysia moves to address 'ugly and uninspiring' Olympic kit after public outcry

Festus Chuma 21:31 - 29.06.2024

The Asian nation faced backlash over 'ugly and uninspiring' Olympic kits prompting officials to consider changes after public and athlete feedback.

Malaysia has decided to revamp some of its Olympic team outfits following a flood of negative feedback from fans who labeled the designs as "ugly" and "cheap looking."

The controversy first ignited over the weekend when the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) introduced a gold-themed collection with tiger-stripe patterns, intended for the Paris Olympics next month.

The collection, which includes tracksuits, polo shirts, and t-shirts, was meant to symbolize the nation's "relentless pursuit for gold medals."

However, the designs quickly became the subject of widespread criticism. Detractors were particularly displeased with the use of gold for the flag on the garments instead of Malaysia’s traditional red, blue, yellow, and white.

Addressing the issue, Chef de Mission Hamidin Mohamad Amin explained that the flag depicted was actually the OCM's logo.

"The colors of orange, gold, and blue are all acceptable; this is the logo of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, not the Malaysian flag, so there is no issue," he clarified during a press briefing as per Malaymail.

The kits intended for travel rather than competition were unveiled in a unique fashion during an Olympic Day celebration at a Kuala Lumpur shopping center.

The ceremony involved mannequins initially draped in black cloth which was dramatically removed following a countdown, accompanied by celebratory music and a modest round of applause.

Despite some approval from athletes, the public's reaction was overwhelmingly negative, prompting the OCM to reconsider the designs.

"After taking into consideration and feedback from all parties, including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council, and national sports fans, the Olympic council acknowledges that the design of the official jacket was not well received," Amin admitted.

Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh clarified her position via social media platform X stating that her ministry had no control over the design process, which was solely the responsibility of the OCM.

Earlier this week, Amin proposed a public competition for the design of the country's Olympic kits in future cycles, reflecting on discussions with OCM president Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

"He has essentially agreed that next time we will open up to fans for designing the contingent's official attire for the next cycle, and we may even provide incentives," Amin revealed.

This move to engage the public in the design process appears to be an attempt to quell dissatisfaction and involve fans more directly in the representation of their national identity at the global event.

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