A splash of style at the Olympics

PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Here are eight winning looks from the Rio Olympic Games

American gymnast Simone Biles has dazzled with her extraordinary athleticism and history-making five medals the past week - and her crystal-studded leotard has added more sheen to her Olympic feat.

Her leotard, sponsored by sportswear brand Under Armour, has almost 5,000 Swarovski crystals sewn onto it at a reported cost of US$1,200 (S$1,605).

Biles, 19, also took the extra effort to inject her personal style into the arena. Her American flag-inspired tri-colour glitter eyeliner and nail art did not go unnoticed. Neither did her 22-year-old teammate Alexandra Raisman's patriotic blue, white and red earrings.

Says home-grown fashion designer Sabrina Goh of label Elohim By Sabrina Goh: "I think Biles has a strong sense of style and she looks confident, bold and stylish."

Earlier, with an estimated three billion people worldwide tuning into the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 5, fashion designers would have delighted in the fact that the Games are better than any other runway on the planet.

American and British Olympians are outfitted by Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney respectively while Swedish Olympians have a new sponsor in fashion retailer H&M.

During the closing ceremony next Monday, Cuban athletes will don Christian Louboutin's snazzy red blazers, black bottoms and starry shoes.

In action, Olympians are graded on their athletic talent, though some designers think it is important to look stylish as well.

Mr Jasper Goh, founder and business developer of home-grown menswear label The Authority, reasons that Olympians put in so much effort in their training so "the least they deserve is to look presentable on the world stage".

While Ms Lisa Crosswhite of home-grown label Chi Chi Von Tang thinks it is "not important" for athletes to look stylish during the Games, she concedes that "it's a shame when someone's Olympic spirit cannot be seen in what they wear".

"We see Olympians as heroic, so their style should reflect that," she says.


1 SYNCHRONISED SWIMMERS SOPHIE GIGER AND SASCIA KRAUS, SWITZERLAND

With those dance moves and crazy-patterned swimsuits, Swiss synchronised swimmers Giger (above, left), 20, and Kraus (above, right), 23, will be the life of any pool party.

2 GYMNASTS SIMONE BILES AND ALEXANDRA RAISMAN, UNITED STATES

One for the magpies: the Under Armour-sponsored leotards for Team USA, worn by Biles (above, left), 19, and Raisman, 22, was spruced up with almost 5,000 Swarovski crystals each.

3 BEACH VOLLEYBALL PLAYER KERRI JENNINGS WALSH, UNITED STATES

Practical, patriotic and playful: extra points to Walsh (above), 38, for incorporating kinesiology tape stylishly into her outfit.

4 BADMINTON PLAYER LIU YING GOH, MALAYSIA

Liu accessorises with dangly earrings and a blue-tipped ponytail to match her outfit. The 27-year-old and her partner Peng Soon Cha beat China's Xu Chen and Ma Jin in the mixed doubles semi-final badminton match on Monday.

5 SPRINTER USAIN BOLT, JAMAICA

Bolt (above), the fastest 29-year-old in the world, stands coordinated in his black-and-gold Puma shoes after winning the Men's 100m final.

6 WOMEN ARCHERS, SOUTH KOREA

Their bucket hats and victory signs may be more cute than trendy Gangnam style, but South Korean archers (above, from left) Ki Bo Bae, 28, Choi Mi Sun, 20, and Chang Hye Jin, 29, have shot straight into the hearts of spectators with their charm.

7 EQUESTRIANS, GREAT BRITAIN

British equestrians (above, from left) Fiona Bigwood, 40, Charlotte Dujardin, 31, Carl Hester, 49, and Spencer Wilton, 43, who won silver for Team Dressage, look regal in their show coats. Britain's equestrian team has been sponsored by outdoor clothing company Toggi for the past decade.

8 SPRINTER SHELLY-ANN FRASER-PRYCE, JAMAICA

Green on purpose: It may be an accident that the hair of American swimmer Ryan Lochte, 32, turned green because of the over-chlorinated pools at the Rio Games, but Jamaican sprinter Fraser-Pryce (above), 29, coloured hers to match the colours of her country's flag.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2016, with the headline 'A splash of style at the Olympics'. Print Edition | Subscribe