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Educational Resources

Canadian Olympic Fashion

Student Handout

In this project, you will construct a timeline for a Canadian Olympic sport and design a uniform for a Canadian Olympic team.

Career-Performance Task

Your group represents an athletic design consulting firm. You have been hired by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COA) to design a functional and attractive Canadian uniform for your selected Olympic sport. The COA would like the design to "borrow from Canadian Olympic tradition, while taking bold and dramatic steps into the future."


I. Research

Visit Library and Archives Canada's Canadian Olympians website. Starting here, examine any and all materials related to your sport's Canadian Olympic history (see Web Links for other related sites). Look for:

  • Photos
  • Articles
  • Biographies of famous athletes
  • Rules, regulations and explanations
  • Equipment
  • History of the sport
  • Other helpful information

II. Analysis

Create a timeline of an Olympic sport. Your timeline should be designed to reveal as much as possible about Canada's involvement in your chosen sport's history, its athletes, and its fashion. What have been significant historical events or trends which would effect the Canadian Olympic tradition? How might these events or trends have influenced the design of team uniforms? Consider the following questions:

What aspects of your sport's past Canadian uniform design do you find:

a) attractive?
b) interesting?
c) unique, original, or different?
d) functional, purposeful, or helpful to the athlete?
e) ugly, embarrassing, or not to be repeated?

What colours are:

a) effective?
b) symbolic?
c) dominant?
d) not used?
e) inappropriate?

Regarding materials:

a) Which are used? Why?
b) Which aren't used? Why not?
c) What qualities are necessary in the materials to be considered for this sport's uniform?
d) Can certain materials contribute to improved performance in the sport?
e) What other factors need to be considered in selecting the uniform's materials?

Regarding the logo:

a) What have been the dominant traditional symbols?
b) Have these symbols undergone change over time? How?
c) Where has the logo traditionally been located on the uniform? Why? Are other locations possible or desirable?
d) What size has the logo been in relation to the rest of the uniform?
e) How has text been incorporated into the logo design?

What do your answers to the above questions tell you about the Canadian Olympic tradition?

III. Experimentation

Having considered the above questions (as well as other questions which you contribute to the analysis), your group is ready for experimentation. Each member of the group should create at least one sketch of a team uniform which incorporates ideas discussed by the group during the analysis stage. At this point in the project:

  • Focus on ideas
  • Do not be preoccupied by the artistic quality of the drawings

When all members are finished, your team must now work co-operatively to create one agreed-upon design. This design should combine the best elements from each of your individual sketches.

IV. Revision

Show your new draft to an outside group (another team of students) for the purpose of obtaining an objective response. Use the following PMI (Plus/Minus/ Interesting) chart.

Focus Plus (Strength) Minus (Weakness) Interesting











Traditional Value


Innovation Value


V. Presentation

Using the feedback you have obtained, refine your design as a group.

Upon completion, you must "sell" your final product (your uniform) in a role-playing presentation to the Canadian Olympic Committee (COA) -- that is, the rest of your class. Your group will be playing the role of consultant (offering ideas) and the rest of the class will be playing the role of client (deciding whether to use those ideas).

Your challenge is to promote your uniform's attractiveness and innovation, its links to Canadian Olympic tradition and identity, and its functional characteristics.

Your group has creative freedom to select the presentation format which you feel would be most effective in convincing the COA to choose your uniform design. Some ideas for format are:

  • informational
  • multi-media
  • commercial
  • celebrity endorsement
  • fashion show

Possible Sources of Information

Library and Archives Canada's For Teachers website

Library and Archives Canada's For Students website

Library and Archives Canada's ARCHIVED - Celebrating Women's Achievements website

Canadian Olympic Committee

International Olympic Committee

Olympic Museum

History of the Games

CBC Sports: Olympics

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