The US Olympic team will march into London’s Olympic stadium on July 27th bedecked in splendid uniforms with a snappy beret and spiffy double breasted coats.
But if you happen to look at the labels to each item they will be wearing, you might be surprised to see that none of them were manufactured in America.
The classic American style — shown in an image above — was crafted by designer Ralph Lauren. But just how American is it?
When ABC News looked at the labels, it found “made in China.”
Every item in the uniforms that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.
Nanette Lepore, one of the top U.S. fashion designers, said she was shocked that none of the uniforms had been made in the states. Further, Lepore said that it was “absolutely” possible that the athletes could have been outfitted in U.S.-made clothing. She said U.S. manufactures could have easily made the uniforms — and for less.
Here’s how much the uniforms cost:
Beret – $55
Tie – $125
Belt – $85
Shirt – $425
Blazer – $795
Trousers – $295
Shoes – $165
Beret – $55
Scarf – $58
Belt – $85
Shirt – $179
Skirt – $498
Blazer – $598
Amazing what happens when you put the name “Ralph Lauren” on a piece of clothing.
For their part, the US Olympic Committee tried to change the subject:
The committee said: “The U.S. Olympic team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors. We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Lepore was asking all the right questions but getting no answers:
“Why shouldn’t we have pride not only in the American athletes, but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country?” Lepore said to ABC News. “Why? What’s wrong? Why was that not a consideration?”
The American Olympic effort, in case you are unaware, is a 100% fully owned and operated offshoot of the largest corporations in America. They pay for everything: the national teams in various sports, the training facilities, the tournaments and competitions, and all travel and lodging. They also make sure the athletes have jobs that allow them to make a living while training full time.
Yes, this is what it takes to have a successful Olympic team and there is no doubting America’s primacy in the games.
But the corporate ethos that funds the games is far from the original vision of the do-gooders and one worlders who hit upon the idea that bringing the world’s youth together in sport was better than having them butcher one another on the battlefied.
The former may be more entertaining and make for more exciting competition. But I remember a bunch of college kids beating the Soviet hockey team in 1980 and realize we will never have the thrill of that moment again; that the spirit of amateurism died long ago and once gone, is impossible to get back.
Lest I be accused of falsely glorifying an era in sports that never really existed, I will allow that many athletes were hardly amateurs when they competed in the Olympics. Eastern bloc countries didn’t have corporations to support them; their governments did everything corporations do today for athletes and national teams. In western countries, “appearance fees” to top athletes were common. If you were good enough to be a world class athlete, you never worried that you’d starve preparing for the Olympics.
And the games themselves have degenerated into an obscene scramble for dollars, sponsorships, and promotional considerations as the superannuated, mega rich old men who run the Olympic movement demand ever larger contracts for TV rights. They, too, are a far cry from the original Europeans who dreamed of a United States of Europe and eventually, a benign one world government — run by them, of course.
So maybe it is perfectly apt that the uniforms of American athletes are made in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and other places where people sweat for pennies a day and don’t make enough money in a whole year to purchase the cheapest item of clothing our athletes will wear to the opening ceremonies. It demonstrates that the corruption is complete and whatever dreams the people of the world might have had about the potential of the games to bring the world together are as hopeless as the attitude of our Olympic committee toward the phrase “Made in America.”