Men to make history at London 2012 by being medal bearers for first time
Friday, 01 June 2012
June 1 - London 2012 today unveiled the ceremonial costumes, along with victory ceremonies podiums, make-up and flowers, a unique design in royal purple that has been created by students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and will, for the first ever in 116 years of Olympic history, be worn by male medal and flower bearers.
Each of the medal ceremonies will be led out by a female escort who will walk alongside the International Olympic Committee presenter, but the trays of flowers and medals will be carried exclusively by men.
In Beijing, the escorts and flower and medal bearers were exclusively female.
In London, the escorts and presenters will be used across 805 victory ceremonies taking place in over 30 venues.
A team of students - Gaetano Ling, Hong-Yeul Eom, Luc Fusaro, Heegun Koo and Yan Lu - spent eight months working on the podium designs while Thomas Crisp and Trine Hav Christensen were responsible for the uniforms, which they explained were inspired by Greek mythology as well as British heritage.
A hat will also be worn by the presenter escorts.
The inspiration for this design came from former student Zara Gorman and is based upon the architecture of the London 2012 venues combined with aspects of British tailoring and sportswear.
"The victory ceremonies mark the moment athletes can celebrate and share their achievements with fans in the stadiums and a worldwide TV audience," said Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012.
"I'm delighted that we have worked with not only with established British designers but also with the next generation of designers to create this special moment for them."
A total of 40 podiums will be used across all the victory ceremonies and approximately 4,400 medal-winning athletes will stand on them to celebrate their success formally.
The ceremonial costumes will be worn by approximately 100 Games Maker female volunteer athlete and presenter escorts and 200 male Games Maker volunteer flower and medal bearers.
"It's fantastic that Royal College of Art students have had so much involvement with the London 2012 Games - from creating artworks from recycled hoarding from the Olympic Park site in 2008 to the stunning costumes and podia being unveiled today," said Professor Wendy Dagworthy, Dean of the School of Material and Head of Fashion Programmes at the RCA.
"This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these highly talented young designers, and a great way to showcase British design education to a global audience.
"2012 is proving to be an exciting year for us in so many ways - especially as we also celebrate our 175th anniversary this year."
Nearly 4,500 floral bouquets will also be presented to athletes along with medals during the victory ceremonies.
The victory bouquet, which includes flowers and herbs that are 100 per cent British grown, has been designed by Jane Packer an internationally renowned UK florist.
The bouquet represents the vibrancy of the Games and the four sections hold a different variety of the rose, an iconic British flower, she said.
Each section is also divided with traditional herbs – mint, rosemary, English lavender and wheat, ingredients designed to provide an unusually eclectic fragrant mix.
The make-up which will be worn by all the athlete and presenter escorts and medal and flower bearers has been provided by Max Factor, part of Proctor & Gamble (P&G), a worldwide Olympic Partner.
The unique look has been created by Max Factor award-winning make-up artist Caroline Barnes, who has worked with David Beckham and Kylie Minogue.
"The eyes of the world will be on London this year and I'm so proud that my make-up design will be a part of something as big as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Barnes.
"I wanted it to encompass everything the Games are about, so it represents well being; it's natural and fresh and will give each of the wearers a lovely healthy glow."