PORTLAND -- Northwest companies are playing a pretty big role is dressing Winter Olympic athletes.

They know snow. Columbia Sportswear is outfitting the top freestyle ski teams from the USA, Canada and Russia.

We've been sponsoring the freestyle team since 2008 in Canada, said Fred Dennis, general manager of outerwear for Columbia.

To satisfy all three nations, one uniform design was used.

Fabrics and colors and snow-camo sets them apart. Inside the team jackets are graphics indicative of each country for the athletes to enjoy.

Columbia also provided the teams with the latest in technology to test on the slopes.

What the company learns from the athletes will be incorporated into outerwear down the road.

We literally give them all of our advanced technologies, they give us the feedback, said Dennis. It's everything from choice of raw materials, fabrics to Omani heat reflective.

It took more than two years of prototypes, approvals and the go ahead from the International Olympic Committee for the uniforms to get to the athletes.

At some point, the technology used in the team uniforms will be worked into many of Columbia's ready-to-wear clothing.

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