Rio 2016 Olympics: Women in uniform

Manchester based print and embroidery clothing providers, Clothes2order, spoke with two women to explore their sentiment towards wearing the identifiable uniform, associated with such prestigious events, at both the London 2012 and current Rio Olympics 2016.

With the Rio Olympics now in full swing, we look at what the event means to the women who work for the Olympics.

Not the female athletes or the sponsored coaches, but the everyday woman who gets to wear the honourable Olympic uniform with pride.

We spoke to Jane Dean, a 2012 London Olympic press operations worker from the New Fore

st area, and Leila Fitt, 26, from Cambridge who has travelled solo to Rio to work for Samsung.

Olympic uniform - jane

Jane Dean, 2012 London Olympic Worker

Jane shares her experience of working at the London 2012 Olympics, describing her feeling towards wearing the uniform as an ’overall honour’.

Jane goes on to explain the impact this had on herself and the other members during the event.

“There was a natural team spirit and comradery between the volunteers and staff, as there was an overall sense of unity and pride,” she said.

“The uniforms helped to make us all feel equal for a momentous occasion that was bigger than all of us and reaching an audience on a global scale.”

Jane looks back at her Olympic experience with fond memories. Still keeping the uniform proudly packed away, with excitement to share the stories with her grandchildren one day.

Describing herself as “a little girl in a sweet shop” upon receiving the official Adidas Olympic bag, Jane lists the goodies which they got to keep as part of giving time to help ensure the event was a success: “In the bag were items such as an umbrella, cap, Swatch watch, diary, postcards, flask and backpack.

“The uniform was a glorious shade of purple & red, and included two polo shirts, two pairs of slacks, a jacket, trainers, two pairs of socks and even a little cap.”

Not only does the uniform give a feeling of uniting nations, but also unites Women.

Leila Fitt, 2016 Rio Olympic worker

Rio 2016 Olympics: Women in uniform
Leila Fitt, representing Tuvalu

As well as working at the 2012 London Olympics, Leila is fortunate enough to have travelled to Rio on her own, to take her place working at the 2016 games.

Leila Fitt said: “I will remember these moments for the rest of my life. I’ve travelled from London to Rio to work for Samsung, I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.”

With the idea of traveling to Brazil alone a daunting thought to most, Leila doesn’t let any obstacles get in her way of enjoying the Olympic experience.

“I think if you come here expecting the worst then you will be very pleasantly surprised, the locals are lovely and I’ve had no trouble at all”

Leila was also lucky enough to be a part of the opening ceremony in London four years ago, where she got to see Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah win at their events live in the stadium.

Acting as assistant to Tuvalu, located in the South Pacific near Fiji, Leila got to support the small team of three athletes and fly the flag during the rehearsal for the opening ceremony.

Her advice for any women who are eager to take part in events like this, in any role, is to not be put off from experiencing life because of your gender. She believes in taking risks and acting on her goals by ignoring negative press and keeping safe.

She said: “Working for a brand like Samsung, allows me to meet new people and know I’m in safe hands, while traveling.”

After Rio, living up to their reputation for their outstanding carnivals and vivacious Samba dancing during the opening ceremony, Clothes2order predicts the atmosphere will carry on being electric for the last week of the 2016 Olympics, for not only the Athletes wearing their team Kits with pride but everyone taking part!

Rio 2016 Olympics: Women in uniform
Leila in Rio de Janeiro visiting Sugarloaf Mountain and Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps and right Leila at the 2016 Rio Olympic Sign.

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