The battle of the athletic brands has gotten personal.
Belgium’s Kim Clijsters, one of the world’s top female tennis stars, has threatened to skip the summer 2004 Olympic Games in Athens if she is forced to wear apparel by Adidas, the official clothing sponsor of Belgium’s Olympic Committee (BOIC), instead of Fila, her personal clothing sponsor.
Clijsters wrote on her web site ( on November 21, "One year and a half ago I closed a contract with Fila as my personal clothing sponsor. So it is quite logical that I always play in their clothes. From their part Fila has always been engaged on the agreement as well…. It seems to me no less normal that I would be playing in their outfits only and not in clothes made by other people."
Saying her decision has more to do with "respect for set agreements" than money, the champ added, "Now the BOIC hasn’t really made it easy for us with their outfit contract as more and more sportsmen and sportswomen have their personal contracts." She concluded, "Therefore, as long as the outfit remains an issue, I can’t go to the Olympics. Even though I want it."
The Belgian committee’s chairman, Piet Moons, expressed hope that the apparel dilemma could be settled through some kind of compromise.
German Adidas has sponsored and provided uniforms to the Belgian team since 1976.
— from A.P. and other sources