Ralph Lauren Designs Team USA’s Olympic Gear + Our Favorite Costumes From The Sochi Winter Games

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Team USA

Opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympic kicked off in Sochi, Russia today. Athletes from 88 countries showed their team spirit in the Parade of Nations rocking patriotic gear from head to toe.

Team USA was suited and booted in red, white and blue cardigans by American designer Ralph Lauren. All 650 uniforms, which are very Christmas sweater-y, were made in the USA, unlike previous years when they were produced in China.

MUST READ: The History Of Black Athletes In The Winter Olympics

The opening and closing ceremony sweaters were created by a husband-and-wife duo from Southern California. Elizabeth and Eddy Park, owners of Ball of Cotton knitwear company, accepted Ralph Lauren’s offer to make the uniforms back in 2012.

“One sweater takes more than 12 hours,” Elizabeth told the Los Angeles Times. “Lots of hand whip-stitching, and it goes through many hands…The opening ceremony sweater has 14 different pieces. We had to put it together by hand.”

Elizabeth went on to say that she was disappointed to hear some people didn’t like the design. “We love the design. It’s an American treasure,” she said. “It’s very American culture, and it’s memorable.”

MUST READ: Winter Olympics ’14: Meet The U.S. Women’s Bobsled Team

Despite the opinions a few haters, the keepsakes completely sold out on the Ralph Lauren website.

Click though the slides to see our favorite costumes from other nations below.

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