From 20th to 24th January the British Olympic Association (BOA) will welcome around 50 athletes and 60 support staff (coaches, physios, doctors, team leaders etc), who will be part of Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to the adicentre in Stockport for the Team GB Kitting Out Experience.
The BOA began designing the Team GB Kitting Out Experience for its Sochi-bound Olympians more than a year ago. The experience is designed to be one of the highlights for an Olympic athlete on their journey to the Games, celebrating the extraordinary accomplishment of being selected to compete for Team GB on one of the world's biggest sport stages - the Olympic Winter Games.
A total of 20,331 units of adidas village and leisure wear, 943 units of competition wear and 191 units of Oliver Brown formal wear will be distributed to 110 individuals over a period of just four days in Stockport, and one day (28th January) in Bath for skeleton athletes returning from the World Cup circuit. Athletes and support staff who are unable to attend due to competition will receive pre-packed bags bringing the total number of individuals kitted out to 180.
As well as receiving their Olympic kit, athletes and support staff will have the kitting out ‘experience’, witnessing some iconic imagery and inspirational items from Team GB Winter Olympic history on display at the centre, as well as some more light-hearted activities:
· Torches on display from the last three Winter Games and Sochi 2014;
· Competition wear from former Team GB winter athletes, including Amy Williams’ spiked shoes and Rhona Martin’s signed Olympic final t-shirt;
· Winter Olympic gold medals won by Team GB athletes Robin Cousins at Lake Placid in 1980 and Rhona Martin at Salt Lake City in 2002;
· An Instagram booth with fun winter props;
· Getty Images photo shoot;
· Nissan Batak wall for athlete’s to put their reaction skills and speed to the test;
· and historic Team GB branding from previous Olympic Winter Games.
As for the London 2012 Olympic Games, athletes will be signing up to One Team GB at the kitting out days, therefore agreeing to be live by the One Team GB values: Performance, Responsibility, Unity, Pride and Respect. Team GB will also be bringing the athletes closer to Russia in Stockport with a Sochi 2014 display and an opportunity to hold the torch in the adidas Theatre.
Sochi 2014 Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay commented:
“Our hope is that everyone really enjoys the experience of Kitting Out and leaves feeling even more excited about the prospect of being part of Team GB in Sochi.
“The kitting out experience also gives athletes a rare break from training and competition to be able to reflect on what they have achieved, and I hope the Olympic memorabilia on display will make them feel proud to be a part of this unique experience.”
Hay added, “I’d like to thank our kit partners adidas and Oliver Brown, and logistics partner DHL for their hard work in this huge clothing and logistical operation. adidas and Oliver Brown have, between them, produced an outstanding 21,465 pieces of individual kit for Team GB and every athlete will leave Kitting Out with two bags full of around 100 pieces of kit and accessories.”
The female athlete kit package has the most number of items in the bags, with 111 units devoted solely to clothing, accessories and toiletries excluding competition wear.
After 136 pallets of kit have been distributed to athletes and support staff, the remaining 14 pallets will be air freighted from Stockport to Sochi ahead of the arrival of the sports in Russia for the start of the Winter Olympics on the 7th February.