That’s right, just 10 days. Ten days till the Opening Ceremonies, that is! In this installment of our countdown series, I would like to talk a little bit about Team USA’s look for the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations. In case you haven’t seen them, the outfits for the parade have been released – modeled by none other than USA Hockey’s own Zach Parise and Julie Chu!

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Zach Parise modeling Team USA’s Opening Ceremony look, photo: Ralph Lauren

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Julie Chu rocking Team USA’s Opening Ceremony outfit, photo: Ralph Lauren

 

I’m pretty excited that these two in particular were chosen to show off these threads. It underscores that hockey – USA Hockey – has a place in the Olympic Winter Games and all of this exposure is incredible for growing our sport here. Now on that sweater… I personally love it, but I’m a nut when it comes to anything Team USA. While Parise’s photoshoot was the subject of some good-natured pranking in the locker room, I think Julie pulls off the look incredibly well.

Unfortunately, if you want to sport these outfits like your favorite players, you’re going to have to shell out a good amount of cash. The entire ensemble is by Ralph Lauren; and between the $598 knit cardigan, the $245 turtleneck sweater, the $165 “Team USA” slim white pants, the $395 black leather boots with red laces, and the $95 beanie, even this USA crazed super fan won’t bite. It must be said, however, that the entire look is made in the USA, down to the wool in the jacket, and 100% of the proceeds of the cardigan support the U.S. Olympic Committee.

I decided to throw together a look inspired by this ensemble, and if I can find all the pieces you can bet I’ll be rocking the rink decked out in all my Team USA glory. Don’t judge.

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I had to go for a crazy USA flag knit sweater, albeit not quite as crazy as the official one. I liked the cream turtleneck and white pants of the RL outfit, so I kept them. The beanie I could take or leave, but rinks are cold, even here in Florida so it would be nice to have. The boots from the original look are plainer than the options I have here, but I like the continuation of the stars and stripes everywhere. The scarf is overkill, I can admit it. But it’s a nice option to have in lieu of a flag cardigan.

Whether I’m wearing a $1000+ Olympic ensemble, or some USA Hockey pajamas, I will definitely be watching the Opening Ceremonies in 10 days’ time. My patriotism aside, the Olympic Games are not about the borders that define us as nations, but the unity we share as humankind. The Opening Ceremonies are a microcosm of that idea. The IOC even states that “No single country must receive greater attention than any other,” and we see that whether a nation brought with them 1 athlete or 100, each one is recognized and applauded as honored representatives in an event steeped with tradition. If the Opening Ceremonies don’t get you ready for the Olympic Games, nothing will.

Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.

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