By Duncan Mackay

Russian London_2012_kit_launch_3_June_28_2012June 29 - Russia's new-look for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, manufactured by Bosco, has been unveiled at a special event to mark the official opening of the Russian Outfitting Centre on Moscow's iconic Kudrinskaya Square.

Under the slogan, "Privet London!" ("Hi, London!"), the President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov joined Mikhail Kusnirovich, the founder of Bosco, to reveal a new distinctive style. 

While it retains the traditional red, the new design features two mythological creatures: Pegasus, and the griffin.

Both have their counterparts in Russian folklore, symbolising light, generosity, power, speed and wisdom, explained Kusnirovich. 

Pegasus forms the letter "R" and the griffin the letter "U".

Together, they make ".ru", Russia's domain name and a symbol of a modern, hi-tech nation in the global arena, it is claimed.

"It is always a challenge to come up with a kit that unites not only 1,000 athletes, coaches and support staff into one team, but also bonds that team with 140 million Russians," said Kusnirovich, who earlier this month carried the Olympic Torch during its tour around Britain (pictured below left).

Bosco owner_carries_Olympic_Torch_June_2012
"As Russia's official London 2012 outfitter, our task is to dress the team and its supporters.

"The expression, 'You are what you wear' is more true during the Olympic Games than at any other time.

"The Opening Ceremony is watched by four billion people – so you better be looking your best."

Natalia Ishchenko, a member of the Russian synchronised swimming team that won the gold medal in Beijing four years ago, liked the look of the new kit.

"Today is an emotional day," she said.

"It's only when you find yourself at the Outfitting Centre that you realise how close you are to the Olympic Games.

"Putting on the kit for the first time makes you feel part of something bigger – the Olympic team.

"It creates that feeling of unity and you understand that you are representing everyone in your country."

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One of the highlights of the day was a flash mob performed by 500 Moscow City Hall and Sochi 2014 volunteers, alongside students of the Moscow University of Culture.

Dressed in Russia's new Olympic kit, they formed the shape of ".ru", "Privet London!", the Olympic rings and spelt out Bosco.

Bosco's Original London 2012 Collection consists of 30 items and 49 separate pieces, to cover every moment of the athletes' Olympic experience, from the Opening Ceremony to their evening shower.

Over the next month, 80 employees and volunteers will spend over 40,000 hours kitting out up to 1,000 members of the Russian delegation.

"Outfitting the team is a vital part of the pre-Games process," said Zhukov.

"The kit unites athletes, coaches, supporters and all the other participants for this major event, and it becomes the face of Russia at the Games.

"It is essential that the kit fits the athletes comfortably and that they feel good wearing it."

The Opening Ceremony outfit has been inspired by London 1948, the last occasion the Olympics were staged in Britain. 

The outfit consists of a mackintosh jacket, a wide-brimmed hat, wide trousers and moccasins.

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"Anyone involved in sport knows the importance of getting kitted out," said Pavel Kolobkov, Sydney 2000 Épée individual gold medallist who is Russia's Chef de Mission for London 2012.

"Getting your equipment is one of the key pre-Games moments.

"The Olympic uniform unifies athletes from different sports into a single team, and it gives them a real connection with the fans."

Bosco's Original London 2012 collection is currently on sale at Bosco stores in Russia and in the first UK store at Westfield Stratford City, the gateway to London's Olympic Park.

The collection of licensed replicas also features designs in blue and white, and a range of accessories.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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