As pictures of it appeared on the official Facebook page from 11am this morning, the comments that began to flood in were initially of utter disapproval of the design. Ranging from the rather blunt "Really bad" to "the overall design is just rubbish", there was one recurring theme throughout the comments on there and other social media sites which kept on popping up;
"Where is the red, white and blue? Where is the British Flag?!"The British public seemed to be in utter shock by the design - you might as well rename the initial reactions as 'TracksuitGate'... (cheers @SimonAlexTyler for that one!). As I was discussing with a friend on Twitter, it would appear most people were "expecting the obvious" of a largely white kit, festooned with the British Flag. The design clearly didn't go down that path, and I totally respect and admire McCartney and adidas for going down a more imaginative and creative route for this design.
As McCartney pointed out, the Union Flag was a prominent element of the design, which had been over two years in the making:
"... For me, it's one of the most beautiful flags in the world and it was important to me to stay true to that iconic design, but also modernise it and present it in a contemporary way."
McCartney didn't "forget about the flag" or "not get the memo" as people have been saying online at the moment. The geometric shapes in the flag are just as iconic as the colours; the flag has simply been broken down, but is still present in the kit.
I have to admit to being slightly baffled by what currently feels like the general consensus of "how will we distinguish who our athletes are taking part in the cycling events?" If you're really asking that question, it begs me to ask if you actually know who our Olympic Cycling team are...
Perhaps the international response to the kit will be more positive, but I definitely stand by the kit and give a thumbs-up to adidas and McCartney for the direction they've gone in. You're looking great Team GB - go for it!