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Lawmakers fuming over Chinese-made U.S. Olympic uniforms

5:31 AM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
USA Olympic opening ceremony uniforms. Photo Courtesy: USA Today
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The controversy surrounding Team USA's Chinese-made uniforms for the Olympics opening ceremony raged Thursday as Washington politicians jumped into the fashion fray. They criticized the U.S. Olympic Committee for approving the uniforms.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the USOC should be "ashamed" that the blue blazers, white pants and berets that American athletes will wear are manufactured in China. "They should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them," Reid said.

Other lawmakers also were critical of the apparel designed by Ralph Lauren. "You'd think they'd know better," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the USOC.

Added Sen. Bernie Sanders: "The Olympics are a time when Americans take great pride in our nation's top athletes as they strive for gold. At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed, there is no reason why U.S. Olympic uniforms are not being manufactured in the U.S."

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky defended the uniforms, calling Ralph Lauren an "iconic American company."

U.S. athletes didn't have the same sense of outrage as the politicians.

"It's a global world we live in," Olympic beach volleyball player Todd Rogers, a 2008 gold medalist, told USA TODAY Sports. "I would say there are much bigger issues to worry about than where Ralph Lauren has the opening ceremonies clothes made."

Swimmer Missy Franklin said she won't march in the July 27 opening ceremony because the Olympic swimming competition begins the next day. While she wasn't asked about the issue of the clothes being made in China, Franklin called the uniforms "absolutely adorable."

"Everything Ralph Lauren did was so, so cool," Franklin said at the U.S. swim team's media day in Knoxville, Tenn. "To be able to wear those, or have the opportunity to, is so exciting."

USA Today

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