Team GB kit for Games unveiled
British athletes will compete in front of home crowds at the London 2012 Games in Stella McCartney-designed kit which features the Union Flag.
The kit for up to 500 Olympic and 350 Paralympic athletes was unveiled in a five-minute showcase, starring a range of British hopefuls, at the Tower of London.
The sportswear has been over two years in the making and combines the best in performance technologies and stand-out British style, according to adidas who brought McCartney on board as creative director.
She said: "The first place to start on a project like this is to look at the Union Flag. For me it's one of the most beautiful flags in the world and it was important for me to stay true to that iconic design but also to modernise it and present it in a contemporary way.
"Ultimately, we wanted the athletes to feel like a team and be proud with the identity we created."
The flag is broken down and appears in different ways on the kit. Up to 175,000 items of clothing will be supplied to British athletes competing in 26 Olympic and 20 Paralympic sports at London 2012.
Triple jumper Phillips Idowu said: "All eyes will be watching London 2012 so every little detail matters. I love what Stella has done with the design. Looking good is psychologically important but my sprint suit is also technically advanced, so not only do I look good but I also have confidence in the technology in the kit."
More than 30 athletes including heptathlete Jessica Ennis, Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed and double Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds helped model the new designs. Three-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins was lukewarm about the designs, tweeting: "Oh dear, the Olympic kit!!"
Olympic and Paralympic athletes were spoken to during the design process.
Having appropriate kit is important for athletes who have spent years working towards the Games and the fact that it is "also stylish is definitely a bonus and will ensure they stand out", according to British Paralympic Association chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.