SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Team USA will be sporting red, white and blue shorts, tees and polos designed by all-American fashion designer Ralph Lauren during the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games.
The Polo RL Olympic collection debuted Wednesday, the same day South Korea’s Olympic committee unveiled the Zika-proof uniforms its athletes will be wearing.
The Americans will be exposing a lot of skin compared to the South Korean athletes, whose outfits include long pants, and long-sleeved shirts and jackets treated with mosquito-repellent chemicals.
Great Britain and Australia’s uniforms also include fashionable-looking shorts. Apparently, covering up is not every country’s number one priority.
In March the doctor charged with addressing American athletes’ fears about the Zika outbreak said it would be difficult to prevent all mosquito exposure.
“We just want to make sure the athletes are prepared as possible,” said Dr. Carrie Byington in an interview with the health news publication STAT.
Byington chairs the USOC’s Infectious Disease Advisory Group. Her team is charged with creating recommendations to help athletes and staffers stay healthy during Brazil’s devastating Zika outbreak. The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to severe birth defects including microcephaly. Already thousands of Brazilian babies have been born with undeveloped heads and brains.
It is unclear if the advisory committee had any input on the American uniforms. The South Koreans aren’t taking any chances. They will be clad in Zika-proof clothing during training and at the Olympic village.
The Olympic rules do not allow Zika-proof clothing during the competitions. All athletes must wear regulation sporting attire, but they will be allowed to use mosquito repellent spray.