Pop Goes The News — A staple of many Canadians’ winter wardrobe got valuable global exposure Sunday night during the closing ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Red-and-white mittens emblazoned with maple leafs from Hudson’s Bay were seen on the hands of many Canadian athletes entering Maracana Stadium.
A handful of Olympians proudly showed off their mitts even before reaching the stadium.
Figure skater Dylan Moscovitch, who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, was impressed.
So was snowboarder and three-time Olympian Mercedes Nicoll, who tweeted: “I love that some of @TeamCanada are wearing mittens! haha #trulyCanadian.”
Other Canadians proudly took to social media to celebrate the mittens.
Journalists from outside Canada noticed the hand-warming apparel, too. New York-based Yahoo! Sports editor Greg Wyshynski called the Canadian athletes “wonderfully quirky and cute” for sporting the mittens.
Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair noted the “cute maple leaf mittens.”
People declared the red-and-white mittens were “adorable.”
“Team Canada came prepared!,” it reported online.
Bustle called the mittens the “cutest” and “highly patriotic.”
“Really Canada? Mittens in Rio?,” tweeted Buffalo, NY radio host Rich Gaenzler.
Tom McGowan, digital sports reporter for CNNi, noted that it is, in fact, winter in Rio de Janeiro.
Huffington Post Canada evoked Game of Thrones in its Twitter tribute to the mittens.
Not every journalist got it right, though. Matt Slater, UK-based sports reporter for Press Association, thought the mittens were left over from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (new designs are released annually).
Minneapolis-based Fiona Quick thought wearing the mittens in front of a massive global audience was simply good marketing.
At least one American viewer thought Canadian athletes could have gone even further.
TV producer Kim Turrisi wanted to get her hands on — and in — a pair of the Canadian mitts.
Others from south of the Canadian border showed their love for the mittens on Twitter.
Hudson’s Bay donates a percentage of sales of the acrylic-and-polyester mittens — which retail for $15 — to the Canadian Olympic Foundation. Since 2009, it has raised more than $29 million with the initiative.
“It was a thrill to see Team Canada wearing the nation’s colours from head to toe to hands at the Closing Ceremonies, celebrating a successful Games,” said Liz Rodbell, Hudson’s Bay president, in a release.
“Making their latest debut on the world stage solidifies the Red Mittens iconic status as a symbol of Canadian pride and demonstrates our warm culture with the world.”
Hudson’s Bay is the official outfitter of Canadian Olympic athletes.
Despite bearing the colours and emblem of Canada, there’s not much else that is Canadian about the hand-warmers. Hudson’s Bay is owned by U.S.-based NRDC Equity Partners and the mittens are imported from China.
Here’s a look at some more of the Twitter talk about Canada’s iconic mittens: