Rio Lights

August 2016

Team GB were shining in Closing Ceremony of their most successful ever Olympic Games thanks to their red, white and blue illuminated shoes.

All of the athletes, who are celebrating a record medal haul in Rio, walked out with the custom-made light-up footwear created by Lancashire’s Simon Jersey.

The company has created the full outfit that athletes wore in the parade on Sunday night. The inspiration for the designs came from Rio’s reputation as the home of the carnival, as well as the vision for Tokyo 2020 which is about adopting new technologies into the Games.

As well as the light-up shoes, which come with their own USB charger, athletes were provided with jackets which include hidden messages to the hosts of both cities.

The back of the jacket featured an intricate embroidery of the Team GB lion’s head logo. Within the mane are a ‘thank you’ message to Brazil in Portuguese as well as a ‘hello’ to Tokyo in Japanese.

A spokesman for uniform supplier Simon Jersey, said: “Rio 2016 has been another great Games for the team and after the buzz of London 2012, we wanted to mark the Closing Ceremony with something a little different.

“Rio is known for its love of parties and carnivals and technology will be a big feature of Tokyo 2020, so we thought the most fun and patriotic way to use this themes in the outfits was through lights.

“It was clear that the athletes all loved the shoes and we were really glad that they all remembered to charge them before the ceremony to create a fantastic light show.

“Creating outfits which suit such a diverse team - from petite gymnasts to Amazonian rowers, has been a challenge, but it’s what we do for our customers every day – uniting teams of any size across the globe through our designs.”

Designers from Simon Jersey worked with the Athletes’ Commission – a group of current and former athletes – to come up with the idea for the garments.

The rechargeable canvas pumps, blue for men and red for women, have red, white and blue flashing soles– with the lights lasting for around four hours at a time.

All athletes also had a white jacket, featuring a lion’s head design made up of 45,766 individual stiches.

Bill Sweeney, British Olympic Association CEO said: “The welcome that we had from the people of Rio has been fantastic, as we knew it would be. Therefore it’s very fitting that Simon Jersey made an outfit with a dedicated nod to one of the most symbolic things about Rio, known throughout the world, its carnival.

“The outfits, and especially the shoes, provided an exciting and colourful end to what has been a magnificent Olympic Games.”