“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is a phrase Bermudans may have never heard of.
During Friday’s Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang, the Bermuda delegation seemed to forget just where they were. Unlike everyone else taking in the chilly South Korean winter air, the group made their way into the stadium clad in bright red shorts, matching scarves, dark blazers and knee length socks. The Caribbean trio, which included cross-country skier Tucker Murphy, his coach Pepa Miloucheva and assistant coach Wax Jeff Shaw, looked more like private school boys than winter sport athletes in outfits starkly different to the many athletes sensibly around them wearing heavy coats and padded pants. According to TIME, the weather was below 30 degrees Fahrenheit as the international world welcomed the various countries to the Games.
“The team from Bermuda wearing actual Bermuda SHORTS in freezing weather for the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics is the most iconic example of committing to your truth I’ve ever seen,” tweeted a fan. “Yaaaassssss queens” indeed.
The team from Bermuda wearing actual Bermuda SHORTS in freezing weather for the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics is the most iconic example of committing to your truth I’ve ever seen. Yaaaassssss queens.
It turns out with the Bermuda delegation, what you see is what you’ll always get because the shorts are their claim to fame.
“That’s normal,” Dexter Smith, editor of Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper, told USA Today. “At the Olympic Games, winter or summer, we’re pretty much famous for our Bermuda shorts. … It’s not a novelty. Not by any stretch.’”
The Caribbean competitors weren’t the only squad shirking warm clothing in favor of fashionably representing their nation.
Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua marched into the stadium with his chest literally out with pride. The flag-bearer, who became infamous during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio for appearing with his bare chest oiled, returned in the same fashion much to the surprise and amusement of viewers. Taufatofua is representing his tiny island nation in cross country skiing. The martial artist lost his opening round while competing in martial artist in Rio, but after two years of training instead in the cold winter games, he’s rearing to go in Peyongchang.
“After Rio I decided to find the hardest sport possible, because I needed a new challenge, and the hardest sport possible was cross country skiing,” he told the Olympic Channel. “You know look at the conditions, it’s like freezing, it’s negative a million degrees, and then you’ve got to put your body through something really challenging.”