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Stephen Wright’s Glasgow notebook

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If medals were awarded for cutting a striking figure on the global fashion runway that is the opening ceremony, then surely Bermuda's male athletes would be among the front-runners for gold.

While it's fair to say that the odds are stacked against Bermuda troubling the medal table here in Glasgow, at least the likes of Roy-Allan Burch and Micah Franklin can swagger and strut their way into Celtic Park tonight safe in the knowledge that few can rival their style and splendour.

Over the years, the Island's athletes have effortlessly avoided the painful pitfalls of the fickle, fast-paced, unforgiving world of fashion by sticking to what they know on opening ceremony night.

Sure, the combination of navy blazer, red Bermuda shorts and knee-high socks may well raise some sniggers and guffaws from the 40,000 expected to fill tonight's stadium and more than a billion watching on television around the world.

But somewhere among those chortles and titters will be the kind of respect that only a man wearing, well, geranium red shorts and knee-high socks has the right to earn.

It's a brand of fearless fashion that will always be met with some derision from the uninitiated.

Take the Houston Chronicle's reaction to Tucker Murphy rocking the famous red shorts — the staple of every self-respecting Bermudian man's wardrobe — at this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Tucker, who will compete in the triathlon tomorrow, sported the Island's namesake leg garment in temperatures below 40F, only to be savaged by one scribe as “upholding Bermuda's tradition of looking like idiots”.

Others, however, were more complimentary of Murphy's devil-may-care look, with Maria Sharapova, the tennis star, tweeting: “Bermuda wearing shorts .?.?. love it! 6 degrees in the stadium #OpeningCeremony.

Equally at home in the boardroom or boatyard, the iconic red Bermuda shorts capture the real essence of the Bermudian male and Team Bermuda's steadfast approach to making them the key piece of their opening ceremony outfit deserves to be applauded.

If only Scotland, the Commonwealth Games hosts, had taken a leaf out of Bermuda's book.

The brave, perhaps misguided, left-field choice of turquoise, fuchsia and caramel tartan kilt with a blue shirt as the male uniform and flowing wraparound dress for the female athletes has been heavily ridiculed.

Such is the degree of dislike for the bizarre ensemble — described to me by one Glasgow cabbie as “looking like a camp William Wallace” — thousands of outraged Scots have signed an online petition to drop the costume that their athletes are to parade in tonight.

Yes, this embarrassment could have been avoided had Scotland adopted Bermuda's simple sartorial secret: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Freeze frame: Tucker Murphy leads the Bermuda contingent during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in his eye-popping national dress
Long arm of the corporation: swimmers Julian Fletcher and Roy-Allan Burch see the sights

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Published July 23, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 23, 2014 at 2:11 am)

Stephen Wright’s Glasgow notebook

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