The State Department is telling American athletes competing in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics to avoid wearing team gear outside the games’ venues amid growing concerns over terrorist threats in the Russian resort town, The Wall Street Journal reported. The memo, which details steps athletes can take to ensure their safety during the games, cautions them to avoid wearing team colors too prominently outside of the 1,500-mile so-called “Ring of Steel” security perimeter established by Russian security forces.
“The U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk,” said the memo, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Designer Ralph Lauren on Thursday unveiled the official uniforms that American athletes will wear to the Opening ceremony. The uniforms feature a knit patchwork cardigan emblazoned with big stars, an American flag, and the Olympic rings. “A dynamic mix of patriotic references in a classic color palette of red, white and navy defines the Ralph Lauren 2014 Team USA Opening ceremony uniform, which is proudly Made in America,” the company said in a statement Thursday. Greg Bretz, a member of the men’s halfpipe team, told the Wall Street Journal that U.S. Olympic officials “have told us not to wear our USA gear outside of the venues,” but added, “I have so much faith in the United States and our safety that I’m not too worried about it.” More