WASHINGTON — Uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes are American red, white and blue — but made in China. That has members of Congress fuming.
Republicans and Democrats railed yesterday about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to dress the U.S. team in Chinese-manufactured berets, blazers and pants while the American textile industry struggles economically with many U.S. workers desperate for jobs.
“I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, said of the USOC, “You’d think they’d know better."
In a statement, the USOC defended the choice of designer Ralph Lauren for the outfits to be worn during the London games.
“Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded, and we’r e grateful for the support of our sponsors,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. “ We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”
Ralph Lauren also is dressing the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the closing ceremony and providing casual clothes to be worn around the Olympic Village. Nike has made many of the competition uniforms for the United States and outfits for the medal stand.
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