The Sochi Olympics are finally here! Forget the double toilets and stray dogs, feast your eyes and attention on some actual athletes. And there is no better time to size up the talent than during the Opening Ceremonies.
The inaugural show introduces each of the participating countries, whose Olympians saunter out in puffy, colorful, and rather surprising outfits, representative, in some way, of their nation of origin. But not all duds are created equal under the eyes of the fashion police. This being a competition, we've taken the liberty of ranking our favorites. Go on and judge for yourselves.
9. France: Leave it to the French to be some of the most fashionable of the bunch. But what is that, a puffy blazer? And are those... khakis?! Are we headed to a networking event after this? | (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
8. Cayman Islands: Shorts and flip-flops! Either these Islanders' bags got lost or that's literally all they wear, in which case, never change. | (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
7. Lithuania: Lithuania, you sneaky stylish devil, you. Where did this come from?! Clashing green is genius and so on par with today's fashion. And the women's jackets cinch at the waist! Thank you. If this polar vortex continues, I'm going to look into getting me a copy (maybe sans hat, no offense.) | (REUTERS/Jim Young)
6. Sweden: Thank you, Sweden for bringing some colorful spandex to the table. Clearly a distant cousin to Spider Man's costume, these blue and yellow tights are a bright spot among the body-bag snow pants everyone else seems to be sporting. I mean, these are athletes, for God's sake. I realize it's cold out there, but let's see some bods! | (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
5. New Zealand: Hello, Kiwis! While the athletes' black-and-white attire is a little ho-hum, the flag carrier, you will notice, is draped in fur. It's actually a cape, and I bet if he turned around, there might still be a slack-jawed head attached. It's an outfit that would make Putin swoon and therefore is in our top 5. | (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
4. Canada: Say what you will, but I respect a country so devoted to its national police force that its athletes opt to dress like them in front of the entire world. Canadian Mounties, unite! | (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
3. U.S.A: I know there will be some push back on this, but those nutty, busy sweaters only impress en masse! From afar the American athletes look like little shimmering lights against a night sky... or something. However, I can't imagine many of them will go traipsing around their hometowns in those bulky things when this is all over. Perhaps they can adjust the bridesmaid rule of thumb — trim it, dye it, and you can totally wear it again! | (REUTERS/Issei Kato)
2. Russia: Obviously, Russia has the advantage in the how-to-dress-for-winter games, and they did not disappoint. Fur trim for the ladies, puffy peacoats for the men — there's enough outlandish style there to make the athletes pop in a way that makes me think, "No, I wouldn't want to wear that, but I'm glad they are." | (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
1. Germany, obviously: Germany tests out "fun-loving" with these Rainbow Brite-inspired getups, and you know what? It's really working for them. When you only get to play with winter attire, why not stand out with color... like every color possible. Bravo, Germany. You earn the gold this time. | (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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