Team USA brings back berets for opening ceremony

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Berets are back for the U.S. Olympic team.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte models the uniform Team USA will be wearing at the opening ceremony later this month. The uniforms feature berets, which were a hit at the 2002 games.  RALPH LAUREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
RALPH LAUREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Swimmer Ryan Lochte models the uniform Team USA will be wearing at the opening ceremony later this month. The uniforms feature berets, which were a hit at the 2002 games.

The team unveiled buttoned-up, refined uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren on Tuesday for the opening ceremony at the London Olympics.

Men will wear navy blue blazers with the Olympic team patch, along with a red and navy tie, and cream-colored flat-front pants. Women will pair the blazers with scarves with red, white and blue stripes, and a knee-length cream-colored skirt.

All the team members will top off their uniforms with navy berets highlighted with red and white stripes.

The marketing folks can only hope these berets go over as well as they did in 2002, when the U.S. team wore powder-blue berets at the Winter Olympics that became instant hits and quickly sold out at stores around Salt Lake City.

The company said in a statement the outfits aim to embody “the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship.”

Ralph Lauren also is dressing the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the closing ceremony and providing casual clothes to be worn around the Olympic Village. Nike has created many of the competition uniforms for the U.S. and outfits for the medal stand.

CHEATERS WARNED: The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency urged drug cheats Tuesday to withdraw from their Olympic teams and stay away from the London Games.

WADA President John Fahey said athletes will face the strictest anti-doping program in Olympic history and stand only a small chance of escaping detection.

“I say this in the clearest way possible: If you are a doping athlete and you are planning to compete in London then you must withdraw from your Olympic team,” Fahey said in a statement, less than three weeks before the opening ceremony. “Even if a doping athlete were to win a medal, he or she would never be able to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘Well done, I deserved this.’”

Fahey noted that anti-doping bodies around the world are seeking to catch cheats before the games, and the IOC and London organizers will be carrying out up to 6,250 tests during the games.

“These will be the most-tested games in Olympic history and doping athletes must know that they will be under the severe scrutiny of anti-doping officials from the moment they set foot in the Olympic Village,” Fahey said.

Athletes suspected of doping are being targeted and will be tested at training camps before the games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12.

“Doping athletes should know that their chances of avoiding detection are the smallest they have ever been,” Fahey said.

He added it’s up to the athletes to keep the games clean.

‘’The world’s anti-doping community can only do so much,” Fahey said. “If every athlete decides not to dope then we will have a completely dope-free games, that’s the simple reality ... I urge them to collectively take more responsibility for the sake of clean competition.”

BOLT FEELS GOOD: Usain Bolt is back in full training and “feeling good,” his agent said Tuesday, after concerns over an injury following successive defeats at the Jamaican Olympic trials.

Ricky Simms told The Associated Press in an e-mail that Bolt is fit ahead of the defense of his titles in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at the London Games.

The world record-holder in both sprint distances, Bolt lost to Yohan Blake in the 100 and 200 at his national trials and had his right hamstring stretched out by a trainer after the 200.

Bolt then pulled out of the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 20 – his last planned race before the Olympics – with what his coach called “a slight problem,” but Simms downplayed concerns that the injury could affect the defense of his three Olympic titles.

Simms also told Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that Bolt had struggled with a “slightly tight hamstring” at the trials.

“That’s why, possibly, he didn’t push as hard as he could have,” Simms told the Telegraph. “He’s back to normal … he’s good to go. The muscle tightness is gone.”

Bolt’s coach had decided the Olympic champion needed a little bit of massage and treatment on the hamstring, Simms said.

Simms said Bolt would “train again hard next week so that he’s ready for the Olympic Games.”

A WIN FOR WOMEN: During this, the summer of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, American women have reached another milestone in sports: For the first time, they outnumber men on the U.S. Olympic team.

The U.S. Olympic Committee released its roster for the London Olympics on Tuesday. There were 269 women and 261 men.

CEO Scott Blackmun called it a “true testament to the impact of Title IX,” the 1972 law that increased opportunities for women in sports across America.

TORCH RELAY: It was a banner day for the Olympic torch: It visited the queen at Winsor Castle, was carried by the man who broke the 4-minute mile and by Britain’s greatest Olympic rower and even got a passing glance at a streaker.

On a stormy Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II held an unopened umbrella as Gina Macgregor, a sodden 74-year-old runner, carried the torch to the castle. Macgregor joked about being caught in downpour, telling the monarch she had “looked fine this morning” when she set off with the fire that was lit back in May in Greece to mark the London Olympics.

The day began with the torch being held aloft by 83-year-old Roger Bannister, who in 1954 became the first runner to smash the 4-minute mile.

A naked man with ‘Free Tibet’ written on his back also streaked past crowds just before former rower Steve Redgrave got the torch in Henley, 35 miles (55 kilometers) to the west of London. Redgrave, 50, won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.

Police said later Tuesday that Daniel Leer, 27, was charged with indecent exposure for the stunt and released on bail.

The torch is winding its way 8,000 miles (12,900 kilometers) across the country ahead of the July 27-Aug. 12 Olympics. Organizers say the flame should come within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of 95 percent of the U.K.’s population.


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