Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian unveiled the new uniforms by standing on top of Somerset House at morning sunrise alongside gymnast Max Whitlock, the double Rio 2016 champion.
The adidas kit had been prepared for last summer before the Games were postponed by a year last March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Laura Kenny and Max Whitlock pose in the new Team GB kit on top of Somerset House
The new uniforms were unveiled on Thursday ahead of this summer’s delayed Olympics
And Kenny, the five-time Olympic champion cyclist, said: ‘We saw the kit a year ago, we did a photoshoot for it, and I thought, “Is this the last time we are ever going to wear it?”.
‘We just didn’t know, so to be able to come here today and now everybody be able to see it is just an incredible feeling.’
The kit, which was made in-house rather than by fashion designer Stella McCartney as in 2012 and 2016, features a deconstructed Union flag, while the casual wear incorporates a lion and the national flowers of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Adidas have added HEAT.RDY technology using cooling material and textures optimised for use in hot environments, with Tokyo set to be the hottest Games on record.
Whitlock poses in the new kit alongside Team GB Taekwondo star Bianca Walkden
Team GB diver Tom Daley also took part in the photoshoot ahead of the kit launch on Thursday
Kenny feared she wouldn’t ever get to wear the kit due to last summer’s postponement
British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Anson said: ‘Despite the incredibly difficult times society has faced this year, everyone associated with Team GB has remained positive and focused, especially the athletes who have worked incredibly hard to keep their dream of going to the Tokyo Olympic Games alive.
‘Today’s launch of the adidas Team GB kit is another important step on that journey, bringing the athletes closer to realising their ambition.
‘It’s always such an exciting moment when we see the kit for the first time and with the innovation and creative design of adidas we have no doubt that the athletes will look and feel ready to perform in Tokyo.’
The rescheduled Olympics open in exactly 11 weeks’ time but there will be no British fans after overseas spectators have been banned from visiting Tokyo.
Whitlock and Daley are relishing the start of the Olympics which was delayed amid Covid
The kit was made in-house rather than by fashion designer Stella McCartney as in 2012 & 2016
‘Every Olympics feels different but this one is going to be the most strange, just to not have any support in the crowd,’ said Kenny. ‘We were going to take our three-year-old son Albie with us, so for him now not to be able to travel feels a little bit strange.’
Questions remain about the viability of holding the Games this summer given the ongoing global pandemic and Tokyo being placed under a state of emergency following a rise in coronavirus cases.
Athletes face daily Covid tests when they are in Japan – and Whitlock added: ‘There are going to be athletes who feel a little bit nervous but we are positive everything is going ahead.
‘Team GB are putting on everything they can to make it as safe as possible, but it is down to the individuals to be as safe as you can be in that environment.’