Olympic Uniforms for '14 Winter Games to be Made in USA
American clothing designer Ralph Lauren, whose Olympic uniforms worn by US athletes for the summer games in London were made overseas, has apparently rediscovered American clothing manufacturers. He promises that uniforms for American athletes taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia will be made in the USA.
Designer Ralph Lauren announced Friday that the uniforms it provides the U.S. Olympic team at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will, in fact, be made in the United States.
The U.S. uniforms for the London Games were made in China, which sparked congressional criticism of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the USOC should be "ashamed of themselves" and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., called the decision "not just outrageous, it's just plain dumb. It is self-defeating."
Ralph Lauren initially declined comment on the criticism, but 24 hours later announced clothes for future Olympics would be made in the United States.
Ralph Lauren has an apparel contract with the USOC through 2020.
"Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States," the company said in a statement.
It's too late to change anything for the 530 American athletes in time for the London Games, which start July 27. The uniforms for Opening Ceremony will remain as planned — blue blazer, cream-colored pants for men and skirts for women and a blue beret with red and white stripes.
The USOC initially defended the choice of Ralph Lauren, saying it was grateful for the support from an "iconic American company."
On Friday, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said the federation takes the complaints seriously.
"We are absolutely committed ... to working with our sponsors to ensure that the concerns voiced are addressed," Blackmun said. "In the meantime, we ask for the American people's support. The members of Team USA have dedicated their entire lives to training for this one moment."
For "an iconic American compmany," Ralph Lauren is tone deaf. Did they actually believe the issue would never surface? Or that no one would care one way or another?
It shouldn't surprise us Lauren is a big supporter of Obama and the Democrats. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Lauren has given $7,300 to Obama since 2008, and more than $35,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
Arrogance, elitism, and a lack of understanding of ordinary Americans: Are we talking about Obama or Lauren?