The uniforms of Beijing Olympics' workers, technical staff and volunteers were unveiled last night to mark the 200-day countdown to the Games.
The uniforms have the key element of the lucky clouds and will be in three colors: red for Beijing Olympic Games Committee (BOCOG) staff, blue for the volunteers and gray for the technical staff.
"The different colors will make the uniforms easily recognizable to people who need help," said He Yang, associate professor at Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology (BICT) and one of the main designers of the uniforms.
"Red signifies passion and action; blue, as a refreshing color, is suitable for the large number of volunteers; and gray represents calm, which is what the technical staff need the most. We hope the uniforms make everybody look healthy and passionate," she said.
The uniforms, to be provided by Beijing Olympics partner Adidas, will be worn by about 130,000 people during the Games.
BOCOG invited three professional institutes, the BICT, Tsinghua University's Academy of Art and Design and the Central Institute of Fine Art, in December 2005 to design the uniforms.
More than 200 designs were submitted before March 2006, and the International Olympic Committee approved of the BICT design on August 30, 2007.
"It was difficult to work out the design because the uniforms had a lot of requirements," He said.
"They wouldn't have looked good had we splashed the lucky clouds across the length and breadth of the dress. So we put several pieces of clouds in different color levels and chose a white cloud for the waist to make the symbol more obvious," she said.
The lucky clouds, also used on the Beijing Olympic torch, signify auspiciousness in Chinese culture.
"We hope people would see not only the uniforms, but also the tradition they represent," He said. "The Olympics is a good occasion to let more people learn about Chinese culture. I hope it's just the beginning of making people across the world familiar with Chinese culture."
(China Daily January 21, 2008)