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Annapolis Native Finds Inspiration for U.S. Ski Team Uniform in 'Star Spangled Banner'

Matt Strackbein found inspiration for the U.S. Olympic Alpine ski team's uniforms for the Sochi Olympics in "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A sketch of the U.S. Olympic Alpine ski team's uniforms for the Sochi Olympics. Credit: Spyder Active Sports on Pinterest
A sketch of the U.S. Olympic Alpine ski team's uniforms for the Sochi Olympics. Credit: Spyder Active Sports on Pinterest

When you see members of the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team flashing down a mountain at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the design of their uniforms might seem familiar.

Annapolis native Matt Strackbein helped design the team’s uniforms as production manager for the Boulder, Colo.-based ski wear company Spyder Active Sports Inc. He told The Baltimore Sun that he found inspiration in “The Star Spangled Banner,” written by Maryland native Francis Scott Key.

Hence the dark blue color fading into white with red stars on the uniforms.

"What's patriotic, but also fast and dynamic?" Strackbein told the newspaper, "The Star-Spangled Banner. The Olympics are a time when people are not afraid to literally wear the flag."

The skintight, one-piece suits have stitching along the back to reduce drag and are flexible enough to move with the skiers' bodies. Developers tested the suits at speeds of 75 miles an hour in wind tunnels, Strackbein told the Sun.

>>Read the full Baltimore Sun story at:http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-02-05/features/bs-hs-ski-suits-20140205_1_sochi-olympics-suits-u-s-ski-team

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