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Extended voting for official opening ceremony kit

The South African public are reminded of the extended deadline to vote on the official kit that Team South Africa will proudly wear at the Opening Ceremony for this year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Following the successful voting earlier this year of Chukuru as Team South Africa’s mascot for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games and beyond, the nation was invited to help choose the official kit.

Voting was initially scheduled to close on May 18 but the public has been given a further opportunity to make their choice and now have until Tuesday, 5 June, 2012 to get their votes in.

South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC sent out a tender to the top fashion designers around the country for proposals to design the kit. Criteria for the creation of the designs were that the outfits must be proudly South African, for males and females (two separate garments if required), as well as being comfortable.

The nation’s leading fashion houses responded extremely well to the task and more than 20 designers submitted entries, with some of them entering more than one design. Earlier in May, an expert judging panel met in Johannesburg to trim the entries down to a maximum of six designs.

Among the judging panel were Miss South Africa Melinda Bam, retired soccer ace and Team South Africa Ambassador, Lucas Radebe, former athlete and also a Team SA ambassador Geraldine Pillay, television personality Carol Tshabalala as well as fashion expert Grant Blackbeard. Also having their input from the current crop of sports stars were 2008 Olympian and 2012 Olympic Games qualifier Rene Kalmer (marathon) and wheelchair tennis player Lucas Sithole.

The following six top-notch outfit proposals were chosen from those submitted:

Colleen Eitzen
Craig Native
Gert Johan
JJ Schoeman
Leigh Schubert

The public are still able to vote on-line through the YOU, Drum, Huisgenoot, SuperSport and SABC websites. They can vote through the medium of SMS lines until 5 June .

The opening ceremony of the Olympics and Paralympics are spectacular occasions, watched by billions of people around the globe and South Africa will be hoping to wow the world with their Proudly South Africa fashion statement.