If the Olympics are coming up (in twenty-four flipping hours!), then some teams will be donning new uniforms. Sweden, for instance, is apparently going to race in a new ultraspeedy suit. God knows Jönsson needs all the help he can get. Did I say Jönsson? I meant Hellner, who will need any help he can get on the anchor leg of the relay.
And but so, we might momentarily occupy ourselves with a best-of/worst-of look at the Season in Suits so Far.
Russia: There's a lot to dislike here, from the bland blueness of the suit and the three-stripes motif to the big oil-company logo across the hat and the logos on the arms and legs. Yuck. (Is the Russian ski team sponsored by the Saturn soccer team?)
Italy: There's too much going on here - too many colors, too many patterns. Not even Piller Cottrer adopting the Norwegian sleeves-up style can save these suits. (Cf. the German suit next door, which is hardly great but pretty good comparatively.)
If he wasn't in such an ugly suit, Thomas Moriggl wouldn't have almost crashed on the home stretch at Toblach in the Tour de Ski.
Finland: Like Italy, there's just too much going on here - too many colors, too many patterns. The neon green and orange panels (on the hips and thighs here) are almost certainly to blame for Heikkinen's horrible race at Rogla (below).
Norway: clean, classic, fast-looking. And the suits look awesome with Gjerdalen's aviators, which have grown on me in direct proportion to his lack of results.
Sweden: cleaner, classicker, faster-looking - especially when you're Mr. Anna Dahlberg, lankily striding in your lanky stridey way, or the fastest man on skis, Emil Jönsson.
Slovenia: Not only because Petra Majdic is awesome, but because anybody can pick this uni out of a pack, and because it perfectly matches her skis and poles.
Bonus Flippant Uniform-Related Judgment
This season continues the rapid, unabated expansion in all directions of the surface area of many racers' eyewear. I predict that someone will race at Sochi in a full-face mask. The finest minds at Casco and Bliz and Rudy Project are figuring out how to solve the problem of respiring through polycarbonate. As they're worn now by Kowalczyk, Northug, and (at the biggest-and-best end of the spectrum) Saarinen, the big-lens shades just look crazy.