Team USA Is Wearing 'Air Conditioned' Jackets for the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Flag bearers for Team USA will have special, high-tech jackets that might catch your attention.
When it's the peak of the summer, most people opt for seasonally appropriate clothing. Tank tops. Shorts. Sandals. T-shirts. You know... summer clothes.
That won't be how the flag bearers for Team USA handle the heat during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. The Ralph Lauren-designed outfits include the new, state-of-the-art RL Cooling jacket, which has been referred to as an air-conditioned jacket. Flag bearers for the Olympics and Paralympics will wear jackets that contain a battery-powered "self-regulating temperature cooling device" inside, according to Ralph Lauren.
The system disperses heat from the wearer's skin through a device that monitors and controls temperature with a system that Ralph Lauren compares to fans that cool "the world's most advanced computer systems." The technology is just on the back of the jackets and will only be worn by flag bearers, but the company says all Team USA Olympic and Paralympic athletes will get one after the opening ceremony.
"Recognizing Tokyo's summer heat, we sought to develop a solution for Team USA that fuses fashion and function—allowing them to look and feel their best on one of the world's biggest states," said David Lauren, Ralph Lauren's chief branding and innovation officer.
Ralph Lauren says that the entire outfit was designed with sustainability in mind. Using batteries to keep people cool who chose to wear a jacket in intense heat doesn't seem that environmentally friendly, though. Nonetheless, the company says that research conducted by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, "an agency of the United States Department of Energy, suggests that personal thermal management is a portable and localized solution that, if scaled, has the potential to reduce the reliance on mass energy-intensive cooling systems, like HVAC systems, for personal comfort."