The story behind Erik Kynard’s socks

Any time you watch Erik Kynard jump, the first thing you notice are his socks. They are always loud. They are always long. And they always stand out.

The USA socks he wore during the qualifying round of the Olympics on Saturday were no different. They made quite an impression on the Olympic community.

After finishing third in those flashy tube socks he advanced to the finals, where he will jump for a medal at 1 p.m. today. (You can watch a live stream online at or catch a replay in some form on NBC this evening)

Maybe he will wear the same socks. Or maybe he will debut something new. He certainly has the wardrobe to show off new styles whenever he feels like it.

Allow Kynard’s mother, Brandynn Adams, to explain:

“He has always been a little fashionista,” she said. “There are seven years between Erik and my next child. He was a little spoiled. We made sure to keep him in the latest fashions, and he grew up to love fashion. We have always kept him dapper.”

Outside of track and field, fashion is arguably Kynard’s biggest passion.

According to his former roommate Jeffrey Julmis, Kynard kept so many clothes and shoes at their Manhattan apartment that he ran out of closet space.

Julmis often jokes that if Kynard wasn’t a high jumper, he would be a clothes stylist.

“He probably has the most shoes out of everyone I know in the history of my friends,” Julmis said. “He has a lot of shoes and a lot of clothes. His closet overflows.”

Somewhere along the line, Kynard grew fond of bright socks.

Why? Well, Kynard thinks track uniforms are boring. Always has. So he jazzes them up with loud socks. It’s his way of making a statement without saying a word.

He’s been wearing purple and striped socks at K-State meets for years. He wore different colors before that in high school. Now that he’s on the big stage and jumping for his country, he is wearing red, white and blue.

NBC cameras zoomed in on those socks quite a few times on Saturday. Whatever he wears today will probably get plenty of play, too.