WA water polo star George Ford models the Australian Olympic team’s opening and closing ceremony uniforms

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Steve ButlerThe West Australian
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VideoAustralia’s uniform for the Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony has been revealed

A sense of nostalgia has brought a sense of responsibility for WA water polo star George Ford as he prepares to carry the sporting pride of the nation on his back at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Ford was yesterday one of nine athletes in Sydney parading the national team’s opening and closing ceremony uniforms, including a bespoke grey blazer featuring the names of the 320 Australian Olympic gold medallists in the jacket lining.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Australian athlete George Ford poses during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Camera IconSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Australian athlete George Ford poses during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images

The Sportscraft design was inspired by the electric lights, vibrant colours and bustling atmosphere synonymous with Tokyo, with elements representing Japan’s famous Shibuya Crossing intersection and the Southern Cross. It is also meant to reflect the “casual, laid-back Australian lifestyle”.

“It’s super-comfy to wear and with that comes unity and strength and confidence,” he said.

“It’s important to have that laid-back Australian feel and having the names of all those Australian Olympic champions on the jacket, it’s an honour to wear it on your back. It gives you a lot of confidence knowing those people have gone there and done it before you and also a sense of responsibility as well.

“When you do an event like that, it’s very exciting and brings a bit more reality and feeling like you’re part of something bigger.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Australian athletes (L-R top) Gronya Somerville, Keesja Gofers, George Ford, Tarni Stepto, Safwan Khalil, (L-R bottom) Lachlan Tame, Jessica Fox, Bendere Oboya and Dan Watkins pose on stage during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Camera IconSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Australian athletes (L-R top) Gronya Somerville, Keesja Gofers, George Ford, Tarni Stepto, Safwan Khalil, (L-R bottom) Lachlan Tame, Jessica Fox, Bendere Oboya and Dan Watkins pose on stage during the launch of the Australian 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform at Wylie's Baths on May 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images

Currently based in Sydney with the Australian water polo squad, Ford is likely to be one of at least four WA players in the team to go to Tokyo. He said the possibility of competing alongside younger brother Andrew added an extra edge.

“It would be icing on the cake and so special to be there with Andrew,” Ford said. “Water polo has always a big part of WA and hopefully it will be into the future. It’s all guns blazing from here.”

WA brothers George Ford and Andrew Ford at hoping to make the water polo team for this year's Games.
Camera IconWA brothers George Ford and Andrew Ford at hoping to make the water polo team for this year's Games. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Australian chef de mission Ian Chesterman said the uniform design had a “distinct Australian feel”.

“After the challenges athletes have faced in making it to the Games, putting on this uniform will be a special milestone for the Australian Olympic team members,” Mr Chesterman said.

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