Team U.S.A. celebrates their gold medal in what I can only call Gulag Grey.

Why are the U.S. athletes on the podium dressed like proletariats from the Cold War Soviet Union? Did Nike want to remind us of the decadence of the bourgeoisie by putting dour grey uniforms on American athletes as they ascended the podium? Shapeless factory grey to shine a dim light on the corrupt capitalist state that dominates competition with seedy sponsorship from multi-national corporations with loyalty to only whatever political entities can be bought and bribed?

Is the outfit a subversive commentary from an insurgent designer on sweatshop laborers toiling in the shadows, awaiting liberation from a global Marxist-Leninist revolution?

But I put these outfits later than Lenin. Post-Stalin. I’m going to say 1960.

I can almost hear Nikita Khrushchev vigorously pounding his shoe in full accord.

1990? Not even Hammer Time.

Meanwhile, team Russia seems to have delved into the lower recesses of 1990 U.S.A. for something that MC Hammer would have rejected from his ensemble. Who commissioned something this hideous? The candy-cane tornado isn’t just unattractive, it’s an all-out assault on the eyes. It’s true that you should wear red if you want to get noticed, but not in the sense of inspiring gapers at the site of a train wreck.

The world fell in love with Gabby Douglas, who did win me over with her American determination and spunk, but I fell in love with Aliya “don’t touch me” Mustafina. Who could dare put such a commanding diva  into such a criminally horrible podium outfit?

No one, not even gorgeous and glamorous bronze medalist/bitch-goddess Aliya Mustafina can make this work. In fact, I’m surprised she deigned to wear it at all, though I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when some poor lackey had to present it to her. I am picturing a hotel vase smashed against the door and lots of scurrying.

And as if the U.S. outfits weren’t bad enough from the front, on the back they look like something fresh out of the penitentiary laundry. More subversive commentary, this time on the astonishing rate of incarceration in the Unites States? Drab and dreary isn’t enough? Was it necessary to make the men’s U.S. swim team look like a work-release group from a penal institution?

The electric-piss shoes seal the fate of the horrendous U.S. outfits. The French swimmers don’t look as good as the U.S. team in swimsuits, but in podium attire, they are clearly the aesthetic champions.

Meanwhile, France earned its gold spot on the podium for the 4×100 free relay with tactical advantage, sheer speed, and infinitesimally better medal ensembles. We need to worry less about which country stitches together the American outfits and put more attention into who designs them. Nike should be disqualified henceforth from any involvement. Let’s contract this out to the French for Rio.