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20 of the most daring fashion moments throughout Olympic history

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Jonny Weir wearing a daring black cut out outfit at the Olympics.
Jonny Weir has worn daring outfits to the Olympics. Matthew Stockman / Getty
  • While the Olympics is all about the sports, some athletes also show off some daring fashion.

  • Throughout history, countries have made bold fashion choices for the opening ceremony.

  • While competing, athletes like Johnny Weir and Shaun White have broken from the typical uniform.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Speed skater Eric Heiden wore a head-to-toe gold outfit to the 1980 Olympics.

Eric Heiden skating in yellow
Eric Heiden. Focus On Sport / Getty

The bold color foreshadowed the five gold medals he won in 1980 at the Lake Placid games.

Katarina Witt turned heads with her outfit at the 1984 Olympics.

Katarina Witt in a dress at the 1984 olympics
Katarina Witt in 1984. David Madison / Getty

The ruffled sleeves and pink mini skirt with a built-in corset all made for an eye-catching look. The figure skater won a gold medal in Sarajevo in 1984.

Four years later, she wore another daring look that featured feathers.

Katarina Witt in a feathered blue outfit at the 1988 olympics
Katarina Witt in 1988. Wally McNamee / Getty

Witt won another gold medal at the 1988 Calgary Olympics in this blue ensemble.

People wore snow globes at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.

woman wearing a snow globe costume at olympics
The snow globes at the 1992 Olympics. Mike Powell / Getty

During the Parade of Nations at the 1992 Winter Olympics, women wore snow globe costumes to introduce each country.

That same year, Russia's team looked more like a squad of detectives than world-class athletes.

The Russian team dressed in long coats and hats at the 1992 Olympics.
The Russian team at the 1992 Olympics. Getty

The Russia delegation wore trench coats and hats and looked like detectives straight out of Old Hollywood.

Similarly, Greece's athletes made the daring choice to wear all black to the 1998 Olympics.

The Olympic team from Greece in 1998 dressed in all black outfits
The Olympic team from Greece in 1998. Getty

The Parade of Nations is a moment for each athlete to show pride for their country. But Greece decided to dress in a somber black outfit in Nagano, Japan.

On the other hand, Japan's athletes wore colorful capes that didn't impress some viewers of the 2000 games.

japan's olympic team in 2000 dressed in colorful capes
The team from Japan in 2000. Phil Walter / Getty

"The uniforms were both lauded and criticized by viewers," The Japan Times wrote in 2000. "Some said they were 'the worst uniform' worn by any delegation during the opening ceremony, while others said they believed that standing out was a good thing. Others said it looked like the capes made it difficult for the athletes to wave to the crowd."

Japan got even more colorful at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Japan's team in 2004 wearing colorful uniforms with fans
Japan's team in 2004. Stuart Franklin / Getty

"What caught the eye of the spectators the most might be the pretty peony pattern — a flower traditionally represents feminine beauty in Japanese culture," the Olympic's official website reads. "They also held colorful 'uchiwa,' Japanese fans essential in the summer."

That year, the team went on to win 37 Olympic medals.

In 2006, figure skater Johnny Weir wore perhaps the most memorable Olympics look: a swan costume.

Johnny Weir at the 2006 Olympics wearing a swan costume with a red glove on one hand
Johnny Weir at the 2006 Olympics. Robert Laberge / Getty

"Let's face it: Nobody will ever look this elegant while wearing a single red glove," Phoebe Avison at Bustle wrote in 2006.

Weir returned to the Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver, sporting some "man-cleavage."

Johnny Weir wearing a corseted top at the olympics in 2010.
Johnny Weir in 2010. Jamie Squire / Getty

Although Weir didn't earn any medals at the Olympics, he did design the costume himself and told NPR in 2010 he would call the plunging neckline a "man-cleavage."

"I think that's a huge misconception about figure skating: That we go out there in costumes that we would wear down the street," Weir told NPR. "But they are costumes. It's all to relate to a character, and the performance, and the choreography."

Shaun White also turned heads at the 2010 Olympics when he broke barriers wearing his "anti-uniform."

Shaun White in baggy jeans and plaid shirt at the olympics in 2010.
Shaun White in 2010. Cameron Spencer / Getty

When White won a gold medal in Vancouver, he was wearing a uniform designed by Burton to look like a flannel shirt and baggy jeans.

"The inspiration was sort of that classic Americana look: the plaid blazer and old jeans," Greg Dacyshyn, Burton's creative director, told The New York Times in 2010. "Yeah, it's a uniform, but it's also an anti-uniform at the same time."

At the 2012 Olympics, Bob Marley's daughter, Cedella, designed bold and bright uniforms for Jamaica's delegation.

Jamaica's Olympic team in 2012 dressed in bright yellow colors.
Jamaica's Olympic team in 2012. AFP / Getty

"The collection is a fashionable reflection of the Caribbean nation's culture, history and style — vibrant, upbeat and hopefully unbeatable as the Jamaican team competes for gold," Julee Wilson at HuffPost wrote at the time.

Jamaica won 12 Olympic medals that year in London.

Malaysia's team wore a bold, tiger-inspired uniform to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Malaysia olympic team in 2012 wearing striped outfits.
Malaysia's Olympic team in 2012. Getty

"It's safe to say Malaysia's athletes were looking fierce in their tiger-striped 2012 Olympics uniforms," Phoebe Avison at Bustle wrote in 2016.

Brazil's synchronized swimming team's suits at the 2012 Olympics depicted human anatomy.

Brazil's synchronized swimming team in 2012 wearing costumes with depictions of organs on the front and back
Brazil's synchronized swimming team in 2012. FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty

The front of the swimsuits showed the arteries and the human heart, while the back depicted a rib cage. Plus, the swim caps were printed with imagery of a human brain.

Russia's Aliya Garayeva wore a fiery leotard to the 2012 Olympics in London.

Aliya Garayeva dressed in a fiery costume in 2012.
Aliya Garayeva in 2012. Ian MacNicol / Getty

During one of her rhythmic gymnastic performances, Garayeva wore a colorful leotard with a bedazzled midsection.

Norway's curling team's pants certainly made a statement at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Norway's Olympic curling team in 2014 wearing red, print pants
Norway's Olympic curling team in 2014. STR / Getty

Norway's Olympic curling team is known for its bold pant choices. In fact, there is a fan page dedicated to the team's pants.

Also in 2014, Russia's delegation showed up looking like Santa Claus.

Russia's team at the 2014 Olympics wearing red coats and fur
Russia's team at the 2014 Olympics. AFP / Getty

The all-red ensemble with white fur around the border made the team seem less like athletes and more like they were one hat away from delivering toys to children.

That same year, Mexican skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe wore a mariachi-themed suit to the games.

Hubertus von Hohenlohe in 2014 wearing a marachi outfit while skiing
Hubertus von Hohenlohe in 2014. John Berry / Getty

In 2014, Mexico only sent one athlete to the Olympics: Hubertus von Hohenlohe, an alpine skier. As the only representative of his country, he decided to wear a uniform honoring his nation.

At the 2018 games in PyeongChang, von Hohenlohe continued his tradition in honoring his heritage with a bold print.

Hubertus von Hohenlohe at the 2018 Olympic games wearing skulls on outfit
Hubertus von Hohenlohe in 2018. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty

Hubertus von Hohenlohe wore an all-black uniform with skulls on it to celebrate Mexico's holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Yura Min's ice skating costume was so daring that she suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

Yura Min skating in red costume
Yura Min. Jean Catuffe / Getty

The South Korean ice skater's backless red outfit was held together with one clasp on the back. Unfortunately, the clasp broke while she was skating at the 2018 games, and the shirt came undone. For the rest of the performance, Min struggled to stop the shirt from falling off.

"I promise to sew myself in for the individual event," Min wrote on Twitter at the time. "I would like to thank the audience for keeping us going until the end. Couldn't have done it without you guys."

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