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More on kit

I’ve been talking to someone from the BOA to get a better understanding of what had struck me as a crazy rule which will require athletes to change their footwear before they get onto the podium, in the event that they win a medal.

It will not, I gather, apply in all sports: it won’t be a rule for those, like cyclists and rowers, who step off their bikes or out of their boats and onto the podium. It will apply to athletes in the Olympic stadium.

Equally, the visions I had of the finish line on the track looking a little bit like a bowling alley or ice rink, and a little chap running up to the first three finishers and asking what size suited, will not come to pass. In fact, every athlete will be given, in advance, an “off-track” kit, comprising tracksuit and shoes – and it is that which they will be required to wear on the podium. As most medal ceremonies around the track will take place some time (sometimes even days) after the end of a race – and athletes will already have changed in order to go and do media and take a drugs test – we won’t actually see athletes scrambling into their new kit before picking up their medals.

The rules have, I gather, been put in place because it had come to the attention of those responsible for brand protection at the Games that some athletes’ agents were actively encouraging to push the boundaries on behalf of their personal sponsors. This was deemed the only way to stop that.

All in all, more logical than it was first explained to be, although it’s not quite the world of sport that I grew up with… I don’t know about you!

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