XTM reveals indigenous artwork for Beijing Team Australia gloves

Cam Bolton models the XTM gloves. Photo: AOC

Aussie outdoor brand XTM have been the official supplier for the Australian Winter Olympic Team for five Olympics. This year they’ll provide gloves, base layers, boots, bags and accessories for athletes and team officials including battery powered heated socks and gloves.

Today they revealed the 2022 gear featuring artwork by 2008 Boxer and proud Wakka Wakka Wanyur Majay Yugger man, Olympian Paul Fleming.

The artwork is called ‘Walking Together” and was commissioned by the AOC. It includes a central meeting place signifying the Olympics bringing people together and footsteps representing the Indigenous athletes who have competed at an Olympic Games.

1988 Winter Olympian and XTM owner Peter Forras said as soon as he saw Paul Fleming’s artwork, he wanted to see it shown to the world on Australia’s winter athletes.

“The AOC has taken an admirable stance in creating their Reconciliation Action Plan, and in commissioning Paul Fleming to create his beautiful piece of art. Indigenous art is so unique and rich in that each piece also tells a story,” said Forras.

“I knew straight away when they shared it with us that I wanted to use it front and centre as much as we could. When sharing the first designs with Cam Bolton his response was ‘I don’t want to just wear these at the Olympics, I want to wear these for the rest of my career.’

“That was all we needed to go all out and ensure that each Team member will have part of it incorporated into their gloves, bags, and base layers. The green and gold has never looked as good as it does connected to the traditional owners of our wonderful country.”

Australia has been represented by 60 Indigenous Australian Olympians known to the AOC, 59 Indigenous summer athletes and by figure skater Harley Windsor who competed at PyeongChang 2018.

The designs have also been incorporated throughout the Team’s competition and delegation uniform with Karbon.

The heated gloves and socks are an Olympic first for the Australian Team, developed and launched by XTM specifically ahead of Beijing 2022. With a power bank offering up to six hours of heat at three different levels, all Australian athletes will receive a pair to combat the extremely cold conditions of the Chinese alpine area, making sure they can keep toasty throughout the Games when not competing.

Dual Olympic sprinter and Chair of the AOC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee Patrick Johnson said showcasing the Indigenous designs throughout the winter team will can inspire the athletes and the Australian community.

“I’m incredibly proud and honoured that this will be the first time that an Indigenous design will be worn by Winter Olympians,” Johnson said.

“It shows how the power of sport can create awareness, education, and an opportunity for all Australians and the world to share in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rich culture and history of this country, deepening their connection to the land, water, and seas.

“These are the first steps of the reconciliation journey that acknowledge, recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in a Winter Olympics and through the Australian Olympic movement.

“I hope that all athletes can feel a deeper connection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rich cultural heritage and are empowered by the knowledge and strength that they are a part of a reconciliation journey that will inspire generations to come. I wish all the athletes the very best in their performances as they proudly represent Australia and know they inspire and nation and the world to dream anything is possible.”

Snowboard Cross athlete Cameron Bolton, selected for his third Olympics in Beijing, said it was an honour to wear designs celebrating Australia’s rich history

“We’re Australians, we’re competing for all Australia – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and communities are the cornerstone of our history. To be able to wear Indigenous artwork, proudly wear it in front of the whole world as we compete and try to fulfil our dreams is incredibly empowering and important to me,” said Bolton.

Sneak peak: the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics slopestyle course

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.