Being chosen to compete for your country at the Olympic Games is an incredible honor for every athlete – and something that serves as inspiration for millions of people around the world. But, due to the intensely competitive nature of the Games, there are only a lucky few who get to make it a reality and get their chance to shine.
Unfortunately for some, however, their moment in the spotlight is marred with something way beyond their control – the choice of outfit. And, as you’ll be able to see here, there are a lot of people that have had to face embarrassment and ridicule due to their designer’s strange choices. There’s nothing they can do but just go with the flow and concentrate on giving the performance of their lives – but it must be easier said than done for some of these poor athletes! On your mark … Get set … Fail!
That’ll Put Hairs on Your Chest
Russian Olympic figure skater Sergei Ponomarenko was the unfortunate victim of this wardrobe malfunction. After winning a bronze medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics, he had one more performance left with his partner, Marina Klimova.
During the middle of the beautiful piece, the fabric on Sergei’s shirt ripped, exposing his extremely hairy chest to not only the judges and the audience but also the millions of people watching at home!
A Cozy but Unfashionable Choice
Every country that participates in the Olympic Games has its own design that features all the clothes worn by the athletes. Some are much worse than others – as you can see here! This was what Team USA wore during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Sure, it most likely kept them warm and cozy in the freezing Russian weather, but it also made them stand out and receive a fair amount of attention – and not for the right reasons! Unfortunately, these chunky, colorful jackets look like they’ve come straight out of your grandparents’ wardrobe!
Dropping Your Skiing Pants
During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, skier Henrik Harlaut was in the middle of a qualifying run when he experienced this huge wardrobe malfunction that was not only extremely embarrassing but also detrimental to his performance!
His baggy pants fell down as he was skiing – all the way to his knees, completely exposing his rear end and his boxer shorts! He didn’t let it get to him, though – he ended up finishing in sixth place and laughed about the whole thing afterward.
The Undoing of Yura Min
Mere moments into Yura Min’s ice dancing routine with Alexander Gamelin, her outfit almost came completely undone due to a clasp that was holding it together coming undone. Apparently, she was worried her entire costume would fall off throughout the routine but continued anyway as though nothing had happened.
Recalling the malfunction at a later date, she said, “Despite the wardrobe malfunction, I had an amazing time competing in my home country! … I promise to sew myself in for the individual event!”
A Dizzying Display of Red and White
During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Russian team made a rather bold statement with their chosen outfits, which featured a truly dizzying display of red and white swirls. Luckily, the jackets were paired with a pair of simple white pants …
However, it could be said that this made them stand out more! Either way, most people agreed that they were over the top – and not particularly easy on the eye, either! The finishing touch was ‘Russia’ printed in bold letters – at least you could spot them from a mile away!
A Stylish or Political Rainbow?
Usually, rainbows are beautiful – but Team Germany ruined that perception during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when they walked into the opening ceremony wearing the outfit pictured here!
Many people thought the wardrobe choices were a nod to LGBTQ rights and a silent protest against Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies. However, German officials denied this, claiming that they were “stylish” rather than “political.” Either way, they looked horrendous!
Switching Up the Wardrobe Game
During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Norwegian curling team really took their outfits to the extreme. The team had already made a name for itself regarding their chosen Olympic wardrobe four years before – and as you can see, they certainly upped their game!
They were sporting red shirts complete with white, blue, and red polka dots, and flamboyant Norwegian flag pants. They even switched for different competitions – as you can see here, they wore pants with a pink heart pattern when competing on Valentine’s Day!
Fast-Food Workers or Olympians?
These guys might look like a pair of fast-food restaurant workers – specifically, McDonald’s, which also uses red and gold – but you may be surprised to learn that they’re actually Olympians!
Yes, this was actually the Spanish team’s approved outfit choice for the 2012 Olympic games in London – and it attracted a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons! Funnily enough, that year, the Spanish team was the smallest it’d been since 1988!
Springing a Bobsled Belly
It’s Canadian Olympian Christopher Spring’s turn for an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction! But luckily, he was able to see the funny side of it, as he posted this behind-the-scenes picture to his Twitter account.
It shows exactly where his spandex suit tore open, exposing what he’s labeled as his “power belly”! It’s not out of the question to suggest that it was a bit of a wake-up call to the importance of proper attire – and he was probably sucking in his gut the whole way!
An Unfortunate Superhero Attempt
Capes can be great – I’m sure most of us enjoyed wearing on and playing a superhero as a kid. But there’s a time and a place for capes – and it may be reasonable to suggest that the Olympic Games is not it!
Back at the 1992 Olympics, Morocco decided to incorporate a cape into their official outfits – but unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out in the way that they’d intended it to. Unfortunately, the combination of green and brown made it look like they’d had a little accident …
The Fiercest Olympic Outfit
Entering the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Malaysian team was dressed, ready for a fight. Their dramatic outfits consisted of long, dramatic red scarves and none other than tiger-patterned tops for the men and dresses for the women.
It makes sense, really, as the tiger is one of Malaysia’s most prized animals and can be found roaming the jungles there. The choice of outfit seemed like a tribute to conservation efforts for the animal, which is now extremely endangered.
The Bloody Flight Attendants
It’s definitely safe to say that the Hungarian national team wanted to stand out during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China! The chosen outfits made the athletes look more like flight attendants, and the pattern – well, you can see for yourself how bold it was …
Not only did it attract a fair amount of attention, but it also made headlines. Whether that was the intention, we’ll never know – but there’s a slight element of blood splatter over a crisp white suit that comes to mind when we look at it!
Olympic Easter Bunny Party
During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the Japanese team’s outfits resembled a beautiful Japanese garden in full bloom – think cherry blossom petals. Not only that – they accessorized, too, donning pastel-colored fans to match the clothes.
Although you can see the idea behind the outfits, the team looked slightly more suitable for an Easter bunny party than the Olympic Games! Still, they ended up winning a total of 37 medals, so their performance clearly wasn’t hindered too much.
Ready for the Track
Back in 1984, the US Olympic team really went with the trends of the time during the Summer Games in Los Angeles, California. They wore white, red, and blue tracksuits during the Opening Ceremony that really caught the eye of the crowd.
The rather strange outfit choice certainly didn’t affect their ability, though. Team USA went on to win an impressive 174 medals – 83 of which were gold. You can’t really ask for much for than that!
Ready for the Games or a Safari?
During the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, Team Australia took the safari theme to another level. The team wore cargo shorts with loose, wildly patterned button-down shirts and topped the look off with large beige hats.
It doesn’t look like they’re about to compete in the world’s most prestigious sporting events; rather, they look like they’re about to go on safari! Still, they went on to win 27 medals in total that year, 7 of which were gold.
The Olympic Power Plant Squad
Back in 1992, the South Korean national team looked like they worked in a power plant when they turned up to the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. But they weren’t about to handle nuclear material, despite the strange outfit choice.
They certainly received a lot of attention for the outfits – and they seemed to think there was nothing peculiar about them at all! They even threw in a bit of camo print on the sleeves, just for good measure.
Eyes Straight to the Crotch
It’s no surprise that the sportswomen in this picture look so upset – we’d hang our heads in shame if we had to appear in public in those outfits, too! Team USA really didn’t think the wardrobe choice through before this Olympic Games …
As if it’s not bad enough that you have to wear a skin-tight outfit that’s practically see-through in some places, the large dark patch right on the crotch is just horrendous. As you can see, although the ladies here won silver, they’re clearly mortified!
Japanese Superheroes with Rainbow Powers
During the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Team Japan took a slightly different approach to most when it came to their choice of outfit. Yes, it was fairly simple – but boy, was it bold!
The athletes wore plain black shirts and pants covered in bright rainbow-colored capes complete with ‘Sydney 2000’ written on them. It might have been good luck, as they took home a total of 18 medals, 5 of which were gold.
Flags Don’t Always Translate to Good Outfits
While it’s fairly common for a country to use their flag colors when designing their uniforms, it doesn’t always make for the best wardrobe choice in terms of fashion! And, as you can see, this is exactly what happened to the Spanish national team.
During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, wearing bright red and yellow suits, the athletes certainly stood out! Unfortunately, not in a good way – but they still went on to win a total of 19 medals.
A Dizzying Display of Olympic Rings
The Czech Republic clearly went all out for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. The national team layered up for the cold weather with bulky snowsuits and jackets – but the pattern was pretty crazy.
It was a play on the signature Olympic rings, featuring an array of circles in dizzying patterns that certainly caught the eye of pretty much everyone they encountered! Maybe they thought it would bring them good luck – who knows?!
Just Don’t Bend Over!
During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, Gillian Cooke had a complete and utter wardrobe nightmare. The British bobsled competitor was all set to race down the track with her teammate when the worst thing possible (style-wise!) happened.
Her tight spandex suit split at the back as she bent down to get ready to launch. Unfortunately, it exposed her entire behind – right in front of all the cameras! But, like a true Olympian, she didn’t let it phase her!
A Rather Precarious Position
Clearly, the phrase “less is more” isn’t lost on the Singapore Olympic water polo team! And, unfortunately for them, the star and crescent moon design – which, of course, appears on the national flag – is positioned in a rather precarious place!
Surely, the designer knew exactly what they were doing – and it had to receive approval somewhere down the line, right?! Unfortunately, the wardrobe choice didn’t manage to lift them to Olympic glory that year.
Not a G’Day for Australia
During the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, the Australian team looked more like they were dressed for a day out than ready to compete in a huge sporting event! The women had bright yellow dresses covered with native Australian animals like kangaroos and koalas …
… while the men had on pants and a shirt that also featured pictures of Australian animals! Unfortunately, the men refused to walk next to the women in the Opening Ceremony because they hated the outfits so much!
Where Are They Going, Exactly?
We’re not sure where the Swedish national team thought they were going on the day that this photo was taken, but it certainly looks like they didn’t think it was the 2012 Olympics in London!
Yes, the colors resemble – loosely – their national flag, but the outfit as a whole is pretty much a disaster! Still, they look happy enough – but unfortunately, the bold outfit choice didn’t really lead them to much glory that year.
The Case of the Disappearing Pants
British diver Tom Daley enjoyed a huge amount of success during his career – but this moment was something entirely different. After the poor guy finished his dive, the cameras caught a glimpse of his backside due to a huge wardrobe malfunction!
His trunks were pulled clean down by the force of the water when he broke the surface, meaning that his rear end was fully exposed – and unluckily for him, there are underwater cameras linking to live international TV!
A Rather Daring Choice
We all lose ourselves in the moment on occasion – and you can imagine that this is pretty normal after just competing in something as intense as the Olympic Games. But Russian speed skater Olga Graf’s absentminded moment was particularly unfortunate …
During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, she finished her face and was, presumably, hot after such an intensely physical performance. So she began to unzip her uniform, only to realize seconds later that she was not wearing anything underneath!
The Show Must Go On
Of course, we’ve all heard the saying “the show must go on.” But this French ice dancing pair really needed to remember it during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea!
Right at the start of Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis’ routine to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” that the halter on Gabriella’s costume loosened, and she unintentionally flashed the crowd. However, the show must go on – and they finished their routine!
The Start of a Hilarious Tradition
As we showed you previously with their uniform in 2018, the Norwegian men’s curling team isn’t known for having the best taste in outfits! This was where they got their reputation – the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Although you may think that they look ridiculous, the team actually claimed that the crazy patterns – and the attention they received as a result – actually helped to improve their overall performance!
Definitely Not Well-Prepared
When you find out that this is a photo of the Canadian Olympic ski team, it doesn’t really make much sense. Surely, if there was a country that would know about the cold – and, therefore, the appropriate things to wear – it would be Canada!
But no, back in the 70s, the national team decided to put the female athletes in tiny miniskirts, despite the freezing cold. They were teamed with ridiculously fluffy boots – which probably did very little to keep them warm!