By Paul Osborne

H&M has unveiled the collection set to be worn by the Swedish Paralympic team at the Sochi Winter Games ©H&MJanuary 9 - Swedish retailer H&M today unveiled the outfits set to be worn by the country's Paralympians during Sochi 2014.

The collection includes outfits for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as a full and extensive wardrobe for training and leisure in the Olympic Village.

Functionality is a key concept to the collection, which takes inspiration from contemporary Swedish and Scandinavian design, with the performance of each garment integrated into its style, it is claimed.

The collection is made up of versatile layers, such as quick-drying long-sleeved thermals, breathable running jackets and down jackets that are lightweight and easy to pack.

Fabrics are combined and contrasted, with wool, knits and fleece matched with nylon, waterproof polyester and scuba quality fabrics.

The colour palette for the Paralympic Collection comes from the Swedish flag, with dark blue, royal blue and vivid yellow, mixed with grey and a blue and yellow snake print.

Helene Ripa said she was "extra proud" that the national teams outfits were designed by Swedish brand H&M ©H&MHelene Ripa said she was "extra proud" that the national teams outfits were designed by Swedish brand H&M ©H&M

"H&M is proud to be dressing both the Swedish Olympic team and the Swedish Paralympic team," said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative head of design at H&M.

"We want the athletes to perform at their best, and look their best.

"The input from the Swedish team was crucial, ensuring each piece combines durability, comfort and performance.

"I can't wait to see the teams wearing the pieces during Sochi 2014."

Sweden's cross-country skier Helene Ripa claimed having a Swedish company design the outfits makes her and her fellow Paralympians "extra proud".

"It's up to us as Paralympians to perform our best at the Sochi 2014 Games and being better prepared than anyone else will help us do that," she said.

"Having functional clothes is one crucial thing that will help us in those preparations.

"The fact that H&M is providing these makes us extra proud."

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