China’s official uniforms for the 2016 Rio Olympics have been unveiled and roundly mocked because people think that the Chinese Olympic uniforms look like fried eggs with tomato. and folks seem to be pretty upset that their athletes will be dressed like breakfast foods. The Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post even went as far as to ask, “Is this China’s worst Olympic uniform ever?” Users of Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, seem to be generally offended by the outfits’ resemblance to scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes. According to a CNN report, one Weibo user @zhuzhuzhuzhurou asked, “Can't you use a different color? It's so ugly.”
This isn’t the first time users of Chinese internet forums have mocked their national athletes for sporting breakfast-inspired uniforms. Back in 2008, when China hosted the summer Olympics, many Chinese netizens posted images comparing the athletes in red and yellow uniforms to photos of tomatoes and eggs and complaining about the similarities.
It’s not totally surprising that this year’s uniforms look so much like those from eight years ago, or that they’re the same colors as fried tomato and scrambled eggs. The colors are pulled from the Chinese flag, meant to be auspicious, and both this year’s uniforms and those from 2008 were designed by the same man, Ye Chaoying. But Ye doesn’t mind the comparisons. He told state-run Xinhua News, “We hope our athletes will feel like wearing our national flag when they step into the stadium at the opening ceremony.” He’s even embraced the comparison to scrambled eggs and, according to CNN, has been referring to himself as, “The father of stir-fried tomatoes and eggs.”
A protein-packed breakfast that includes scrambled eggs is probably exactly what athletes need in the morning (based on my very, very limited knowledge of sports), and since plenty of Olympic athletes end up appearing on cereal boxes anyway, maybe the comparison to breakfast foods isn’t necessarily an unflattering one.