— Olympics (@Olympics) August 19, 2016
With aerodynamic uniforms aimed at reducing fractions of a second in a race, it’s strange to see unusually large race bibs at the Rio Olympics. The bibs, which display an athlete’s last name, are wore on the front of an athlete’s singlet during races.
It’s safe to say that the bibs need a little bit of work, both in the spell check department and in regards to consistency.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson had to wear a misspelled bib for the opening day of the women’s heptathlon. Fortunately, she received a revised version on the second of two days in the seven-discipline event. Someone forgot the “n.”
The typo was just the first in a number of photos captured during the Olympics where athletes are seen wearing bibs with different fonts in varying size. For shorter names, the gap between letters is huge rather than the name being centered and the letters condensed.
The topic has seen an uptick in popularity recently thanks to a Twitter campaign. The Rio bibs have been trending on the social media platform this week with the tag line “The bibs at Rio are the worst and it is not OK.”
There’s been a lack of consistency in the design of the bibs. In the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, for example, Ezekiel Kemboi had non-bolded print while Evan Jager and Hamid Ezzine had the bolded version.
Kemboi’s and Jager’s bibs side-by-side
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 17, 2016
Kemboi’s and Ezzine’s bibs side-by-side
— Gareth Price (@G_Price) August 17, 2016
Twitter users are not too happy with the design choices
The bibs for rio are trash
— PRE (@Stopherschel) August 14, 2016
— Don Whelan (@dvw2) August 16, 2016
The irregular fonts on these Rio bibs are really starting to get to me. Genuinely concerned that they'll start using Comic Sans by the end.
— Jon Mulkeen (@Statman_Jon) August 16, 2016
— Mathieu Gentès (@mat_gentes) August 16, 2016
I'm pretty sure these Rio track bibs were just printed by some dude on the office inkjet
— Richard (@arrpeeoh) August 14, 2016
I don't understand why the letters on bibs are different sizes at Rio.
— Thayne Griffin (@thayne_griffin) August 15, 2016
Three- and four-lettered last names are some of the strangest looking
1 It's more than a job
2 Fight for it
3 Make the details count
— SPIKES (@spikesmag) August 19, 2016
Canadians Sage Watson and Noelle Montcalm got the bold print
Andre De Grasse’s bib in the men’s 100m heats
De Grasse’s bib in the men’s 100m final
The Rio bibs come after Nike used redesigned name plates at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. The bibs, known as AeroSwift Bibs, do not require safety pins and instead adhere to clothing. Perhaps, newer designs will be seen at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the next time around.