Paula Radcliffe’s thoughts on Stella McCartney’s Olympic kit

ELLE talks to Paula Radcliffe about the new Olympic uniform


Stella McCartney’s designs for the Olympic kit came under fire from some ardent traditionalists when it was revealed on Team GB in March. Where was the red? They raged, and... well that was about the extent of it.

McCartney was quick to defend her decision to feature an all-blue Union Jack flag, saying on Twitter, “I see many feel as strongly about the Union flag as I do! The design actually uses more red & shows more flag than any Team GB kit since ’84.”


But whilst the plentiful critics are quick to voice their opinions, the only views that really matter are those of the athletes that will be wearing the kit as they compete for their country. And as one of the world’s most-watched athletes, Paula Radcliffe’s opinion was something we were keen to hear when we met her at the announcement of Nike’s sponsorship of the British 10K race, to be held in the capital this July. “I’ve only seen pictures of it, but… I would like to have seen a bit more red in it,” Radcliffe suggested, adding, “I haven’t seen the actual kit yet – in terms of functionality I think it should be fine, but to be honest it’s not something I’m going to worry about because it’s nothing that I can change. The fact that you are running with the Union Jack on – whatever form that takes – is the most important thing.”


Off-track, Radcliffe pays a bit more attention to what she’s wearing, favouring feminine dresses from BCBG Max Azria and Marc Jacobs, and easy travelling pieces for events. But one thing she’ll never do for fashion is risk damaging her prize-winning feet. “I always carry a pair of flats in my handbag so that as soon as the photo-call is finished I can slip straight back into them,” she confessed.

Body maintenance to Radcliffe means something very different to what most of us take it to be. Forget regular pedicures and waxing, Radcliffe has regular massages and physio sessions to keep everything in order. ‘Aesthetically my feet are bashed – I paint the toenails to keep them looking ok but whenever I get a pedicure I have to tell them to keep the hard skin on rather than take it off – I need that skin.’

And her diet tip? Lean, lithe and glowing with health, Radcliffe’s diet is a curiosity to many: ‘Dark chocolate,’ she shares, ‘I have a massive sweet tooth so I treat myself to a bit of dark chocolate every day.’

For those of us who don’t have our eyes on the Olympic Gold, a few squares of Green & Black’s Maya Gold will do.

Paula Radcliffe was on Westminster Bridge with fellow runners to announce Nike’s sponsorship of the British 10K, which will be held on 8th July 2012. Time to do more. Train with us at #makeitcount

Read Next: