Triathlon Canada athletes will have a new look this season with a unique uniform designed by Cowichan First Nations artist Carey Newman. The new race suits integrate a trio of recognizable Canadian animals designed in contemporary North West Coast style. The animals reflect each of the sports activities: swim, bike and run.
“The concept was inspired by the transformation triathletes experience through a race,” said Carey Newman, a Kwagiulth and Coast Salish artist and master carver from British Columbia. “From swimming to cycling to running, I wanted to connect my work to each of these three activities.”
To achieve this, Newman equated an iconic Canadian animal to each of the three legs of a triathlon. His idea is that the athletes take on the qualities of each animal, transforming from one to the next during the different disciplines of the race.
The animals he chose were the Orca – an unparalleled swimmer. As the carrier of history, orca represents awakening of the inner depths and the power of song; the Raven – cycling is like flying. Known as the giver of light, guardian of magic and capable of mystical transformation, raven represents the intersection of human and animal, and the Wolf – a tireless runner. Known for loyalty to family and guardianship. A great teacher, the wolf represents longevity, ritual and strength of spirit.
“Transformation is part of my culture, and the raven is the central figure in that mythology,” added Newman. “I see each of these athletes as a raven, seamlessly connecting human, orca, and wolf – each borrowing space from the others. In the water they are the orca, when they ride they soar like the raven, when they run they become the wolf.”
Various design elements of each animal can be found on the panels of the race suits. You will find the face, fins and tail of the orca; the wings, feathers and claws of the raven. On the chest of each suit is the wolf face and teeth — an imposing and strong statement for the athletes chasing down their competitors.
“There is nothing more powerful for an athlete than standing on the start line knowing they have the entire nation cheering them on,” said Kim Van Bruggen, chief executive officer, Triathlon Canada. “Working with Carey, our goal was to design a uniform that was unique and meaningful, while at the same time, tell a powerful story of who we are as triathletes and proud Canadians focused on achieving excellence.
“Racing internationally presents us with a unique opportunity to celebrate our heritage, and I think Carey has captured the transformational power of triathlon and sport in a unique way. The orca, raven and wolf are powerful, intimidating and strong, which reflect what each Canadian triathlete strives to be.”
The new design comes on the heels of Triathlon Canada announcing it is joining forces with 2XU in the drive to the podium in 2018. The brand synonymous with triathlon is committed to supplying all compression garments, training and racing apparel for Triathlon Canada’s high-performance athletes and age group teams in 2018.