Czech designer dresses Jamaican bobsleigh team at Winter Olympics

Thirty years after the great success of Jamaican bobsledders at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the inspiration for the film Cool Runnings, Jamaica is back at the Winter Olympics. The Jamaican women’s bobsleigh team has qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The success of the Jamaicans bears a trace of Czechia, too. The Jamaicans will wear kit designed by Zuzana Bahulová, a Czech designer and lecturer at Tomas Bata University in Zlín.

Zuzana Bahulová describes her design as follows: “For their kit, the athletes favoured the colours of the Jamaican national flag (black, gold and green) and a motif of a swallow-tailed hummingbird, a Jamaican national symbol. The main part of the outfit is in black, with green and yellow as an accompaniment. I placed the bird motif on the back.” The look is completed with a scarf, jacket and leggings, also designed by Bahulová. The Jamaican bobsledders liked the design so much that they took it to Puma, a sportswear company which usually produces clothing by its own designers.

How did it come about that a Czech designer began working with international athletes?  During her PhD studies, Zuzana Bahulová, a former professional athlete (she competed in rowing), worked for a company which made clothing for rowers. “Thanks to this experience, I was able to work with different national teams,” says the designer. At the 2012 London Summer Olympics, athletes from Belarus, Nigeria and Germany wore outfits designed by Bahulová. The Czech artist also designed clothing for Bulgarian, Hungarian and German rowers at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.