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Ralph Lauren's Team USA uniforms were designed to beat the heat; the jackets come complete with individual air-conditioning systems.
Flag bearers for Team USA wore the jackets during the Olympic and Opening Ceremony Parades on Friday. AccuWeather forecasters project high temperatures in the 90s for the opening weekend, with temperatures easing to the middle to upper 80s in the week that follows. The AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature reached the upper 90s in Tokyo on Friday.
"Recognizing Tokyo's summer heat, we sought to develop a solution for Team USA that fuses fashion and function -- allowing them to look and feel their best on one of the world's biggest stages," said David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer, in a statement.
The technology includes a self-regulating temperature cooling device called RL COOLING, which is integrated into the garment. The system disperses heat from the wearer's skin through a device that monitors and optimizes temperature to create "a cooling sensation."
The sensation "can be immediately felt and is long-lasting," even in the most unbearable heat, according to Ralph Lauren.
🇺🇸 @TeamUSA are here!
Four-time Olympic basketball champion Sue Bird and baseball star and Winter Olympic medallist Eddy Alvarez carry the flag.#StrongerTogether #OpeningCeremony #USA pic.twitter.com/tWIKNV9vAM
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 23, 2021
"Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ralph Lauren celebrates America's pioneering spirit and tradition, while embracing modernity and innovation -- and it is with that ethos in mind that we approached the development of the RL COOLING technology," the company said in the release.
Ralph Lauren first began exploring thermal management systems when the company debuted a heated jacket at the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang 2018, according to the release. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures were set to plunge between 15 to 20 degrees during the opening ceremony.
Research conducted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy -- an agency of the United States Department of Energy -- suggests that personal thermal energy management has the potential to reduce the reliance on energy-intensive systems like HVAC.
The uniforms also incorporate sustainable materials, including U.S.-grown wool and cotton, along with a belt made of recycled polyester derived from plastic water bottles, according to the release.
Olympic medalists in fencing, Peter Westbrook, left, and Daryl Homer model the Team USA Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony uniforms at the Ralph Lauren SoHo store on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
"The climate is hot and humid. When you're doing the ceremonies, you're outside for hours standing in the stadium. So this blazer's definitely a little bit thinner than ones we've had in the past," Connor Fields, BMX Gold medalist, told AccuWeather National Reporter Sarah Gisriel.
Gisriel had the chance to try on the white jacket that comes equipped with a cooling pack on the inside, noting that the idea behind the mechanism was based on the concept that cooling people individually is more environmentally friendly than cooling off a group of people en masse.
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