Team USA Olympic Opening Ceremony uniforms unveiled

Team USA Olympic uniforms
Sebastian Kim/Ralph Lauren
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NEW YORK — Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms for the Beijing Olympics include some sneaky new warming technology, along with a handy front pouch and a cinch waist on anoraks in navy and white.

The jackets unveiled Thursday by official outfitter Ralph Lauren include a smart, honeycomb-like fabric layer built in that expands or contracts in response to temperature changes — all without the use of a battery or wired technology.

The assist by a company called Skyscrape follows battery-powered cooling and heating tech the company used for some previous looks for the Tokyo Olympics and the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Bobsledder Aja Evans, a bronze medalist at Sochi and an alternate this time around, was pleased with the new gear that she modeled for media at the Polo Ralph Lauren store in Soho downtown.

“This is my favorite look,” said Evans, who didn’t medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Games. “It feels good and can go from indoor to outdoor.”

Female athletes will parade Feb. 4 at the start of the Games in China wearing red boots and red fleece pants with predominantly navy jackets. The men’s looks are mostly white. Both will be wearing navy knit beanies, and both get the large bonus pouch on the front of their jackets to go with roomy side pockets and graphic touches on sleeves.

Ralph Lauren went with navy for their gloves, and all athletes will be provided with masks to help guard against COVID-19. Team USA’s Paralympians will receive the same gear. The team’s Closing Ceremony uniforms in a buffalo plaid design were unveiled in October.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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