At the top today is midfielder RIa Percival, who is competing at the Olympics with New Zealand.
Ramble of the Day
All of the uniforms I’ve judged over the last several weeks have served as pretty good prep for sports’ biggest fashion moment — opening ceremony attire at the Olympics. Creating these looks ends up being the task of celebrated designers around the world, and many do not squander the opportunity to make a memorable look.
What I discovered along the way is, despite the Tokyo heat and humidity, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is a great venue for a terrific jacket. For a sporting event, there were only a few really great track jackets — Portugal had a cool one even if it didn’t hint towards the national colors. Sierra Leone’s did, though, and also sported one of the ceremony’s great prints.
Many opted for formal coats, and there were a few standouts. The likes of Ghana, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia went for some creativity while sticking to the basics. India’s was the first formal coat that I really liked while I watched the opening ceremony live, especially the men’s jacket.
There were also many who referenced styles native to their countries and its traditions, perhaps the best part of any opening ceremony. A few of my favorites in that category were Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Tuvalu. Bhutan managed to enter two really great outfits — one for its male athletes, and one for its female athletes.
A lot of countries opted for a more casual look, and I think only two nailed the brief: Brazil, another country with a great print, and the Netherlands. Some of the Netherlands’ female athletes rocked a simple jumpsuit, which I think is a really great use for the punchy orange the country is known for in the sports world.
The casual look was seemingly hard to nail, though. I did not find a lot of outfits terrible, but most of the ones I did were attempts at streetwear. Italy was a commonly disliked look, with Cape Verde, Slovenia, and Ukraine also providing contenders in this category. No one earned my dislike the way Switzerland’s track suit did, though — faded brick that almost looks brown is not a great use of the red on the country’s flag.
The worst of the worst, though, goes to Belgium. I can only wonder what the idea was, and why they thought this was the execution to go for. It’s as if a souvenir shop decided it wanted to get into fashion.
tl;dr: The best and worst of the Olympics opening ceremony outfits.
Stay informed, read this: ex-France international Patrice Evra argues football clubs can do more to root out racism through education
Links of the Day
Haiti’s former head of referees Rosnick Grant received a lifetime ban by FIFA for sexual misconduct.
Bristol manager Joey Barton was charged with assault after a woman suffered a head injury.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino signed a new contract with the club until 2023.
Orlando Pride hired Becky Burleigh as interim coach after Marc Skinner resigned.
Transfers: Chelsea signed Lauren James from Manchester United, with Hannah Blundell going the other way; Brentford signed Myles Peart-Harris from Chelsea; Birmingham signed Louise Quinn from Fiorentina
A longer read: Fabrizio Romano on Tottenham’s new director of football Fabio Paratici and how he works for the Guardian