'I had to make sure it was not April 1st'- Justin Gatlin weighs in on Nike kits for Paris Olympics

Kenyan and American athletes modeling the 2024 Nike Olympic kits in Paris.

'I had to make sure it was not April 1st'- Justin Gatlin weighs in on Nike kits for Paris Olympics

Mark Kinyanjui 07:00 - 23.04.2024

The American sprint hero has described the latest Olympic kit designs by Nike as a 'joke'.

Former American sprinter Justin Gatlin is aghast after seeing the latest kits released by Nike for its respective teams at the upcoming Olympic games in Paris in August.

The designs elicited mixed reactions from fans worldwide, with fans praising and criticizing the designs in equal measure.

Some think there is nothing wrong with the kits while others believe Nike would have done better when it comes to kitting the athletes ahead of the global bonanza scheduled for later this year.

Now, athletes past and present have also chimed with their thoughts, including Justin Gatlin.

Gatlin, a four-time World Champion and the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medalist, voiced his concerns about the new uniforms on his 'Ready Set Go' podcast. 

He revealed that he was taken aback when he first saw the kits, initially thinking it was a prank due to their unconventional design.

“Throughout my career and all of the Olympics, I have loved each uniform. They have been amazing, they have been next step, and when people see it, they want it,” Gatlin commented.

“When I saw the unveiling of this uniform, it was on social media first and it was not part of an official page, I thought it was a prank, so I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t a prank and was like ‘this is a joke’.

“This can’t be the kit they are going to run for the next four years in. I personally think they dropped the ball on this situation. They should have put more money and effort into it."

Gatlin particularly criticized the font used on the uniforms, describing it as simplistic and lacking creativity. He also questioned the choice of colors and materials, suggesting that Nike might have reused materials from previous uniforms.

“The font across the front looks like a simplified one, ‘like I am just going to pick any font’. The color is okay but if you look at things like the women’s bottoms. 

“Long story short, this Team USA uniform has missed the mark. They could have done a better job with the font. I think they pieced some of the materials they had from previous uniforms, threw some color on it and went with it,” Gatlin added.

“Nike is the sole sponsor of making uniforms for these athletes, not just team USA, but teams like Kenya, Germany and any other country sponsored by Nike sponsored by these uniforms.”