The GB men’s and women’s squads travelled to Loughborough this week for their ‘Team GB Experience’ and ‘Kitting Out Day’. With the start of the Games just two weeks away, this is a very exciting time for the athletes. We caught up with Nick Catlin and Nicola White to find out how it went.
How has your experience been today?
NC: Amazing! Obviously I’ve been looking forward to this day since I found out I was selected – it’s quite a big moment in any British athlete’s experience of the Games. It’s been a really good day.
NW: It’s been fantastic... it’s been really, really fun! Collecting all the kit makes it feel special and there have been a lot of laughs in the photo booth. It’s all been good fun and we’ve really enjoyed getting kitted out.
Did you have a favourite part?
NC: The photo booth was pretty fun – it was just dressing up in stupid clothes and having photos taken with your friends. But I’ve enjoyed every part of it to be honest. The formal wear and opening/closing ceremony clothing is really cool – it’s good to see what Next have done.
NW: The photo booth! Basically you go inside in your Team GB kit and have a photo taken on your own. This gets put inside a book where you can write a thank you message. Then you can have some funny photos taken with team mates. There’s a box of tricks like a flag, hat, snorkel...anything you can think of, and you can dress up and go into the booth again. Inside there’s a hairdryer so if you want your hair down and messy you can put that on! You get four takes and it’s just a bit of fun to take from the experience.
Could you talk us through the whole kitting out process?
NC: We arrived at about 9.50am this morning, had an introductory talk and were shown a video explaining the whole process. We started with Next who have designed the formal wear and opening/closing ceremony outfits, which took half an hour or so. Then we moved down into village wear – things like hoodies, tracksuit bottoms, trainers, hats, sunglasses...anything you can think of really. Finally, we went into the competition wear area - we had already tried on the hockey playing kit at Bisham, but there were other items like undershorts, undertops, recovery leggings and things like that. After that it was the photo booth! There was a big fancy dress box of wigs and huge glasses and stupid things like that, it was a lot of fun! That was the end of trying on clothes for the day...then it was onto media stuff. We did a few interviews with the BBC and some newspapers and then BP (official sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) took a scan of our hands and feet for the British Olympic museum. That was about it I think...then we had lunch!
NW: When we first arrived we came up and had some lunch. My group were in the first slot so we went into Next where we tried on the formal wear and opening/closing ceremony suit. Then we went down into the Adidas area which was split into two sections – training kit and Team GB kit – it’s all very confusing but the second section was more competition wear! Then we had photo booth shots, got to sign a board and write messages in a book. Finally, we had our interviews with the media and a little experience with BP!
What is your favourite item of kit?
NC: The formal suit wear from Next is really smart and I also like the ‘loungy’ sort of clothes like the trackie bottoms and hoodies that you would wear around the house - they are really, really nice.
NW: The Stella McCartney wear is really funky. It’s different to adidas as it’s straight legged and properly fitted. I quite like the casual wear as well and I think the competition clothing is really nice – I really like how it’s comfortable but also smart.
Who took the longest throughout the process?
NC: The universal answer is Richard Smith (Smudge) for that!
NW: Well out of our group it was Laura Unsworth because she’s so small that they couldn’t get anything to fit her - she had to get things turned up!
Did you have a favourite item of fancy dress in the photo booth?
NC: I had a Bjorn Borg style wig and sweatband look which I enjoyed a lot... that was probably my favourite. I was with Smudge (above right) and he went for a crown and a rubber duckie interestingly enough...a slightly strange choice! We did cram four guys in there at one point as well which was fairly entertaining!
NW: I had a crown on and a grammy award or something!
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