Olympic Team Made in the USA, but Not the Uniforms (at Least in 2012)

The U.S. Olympic Committee and designer Ralph Lauren have agreed that Team USA’s outfits for the opening and closing ceremonies will be made in America for the 2014 Winter Games.

Lauren, a designer known his Americana-sense of style came under fire over where the uniform for this summer’s games were made. Congress showed some rare bipartisan support in criticizing the manufacturing of the berets, blazers and pants in China.

"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," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes.

On the Media’s Bob Garfield says having the uniforms manufactured in China does seem a stupid idea. “This [is] penny wise and pound foolish,” Garfield said. “They could have paid, maybe, double the cost of manufacturing and saved themselves some embarrassment, but this is going to go away very, very soon.”

He points out, with less than two weeks before the start of the Olympics, getting new uniforms made is unlikely. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said late Friday that it's too late to make a change in the outfits for the London Games.

Still Garfield does think having the clothes made in China is symbolic in one way — it vividly illustrates the textile industry has gone elsewhere.

“Whether the Olympic team uniforms are manufactured in the U.S. or China or Pluto, will have no bearing what so ever on the global economy and U.S. jobs,” Garfield said.

As for complaints that the Lauren uniform, white pants, blue blazer with the polo logo and blue beret with white and red accents, is “too European,” Garfield doesn’t necessarily view it that way.

“With the beret, they don’t look like athletes so much as special forces,” he joked.