American faux pas

Published 9:04 pm Monday, July 16, 2012


Somewhere in Colorado Springs, there is a U.S. Olympic Committee executive (or two, or three) stuffing the contents of his or her desk in a box today.

And he, or she, deserves it.

Anyone could have told this person that American teams wear American-made uniforms.

Last week, news that the U.S. team would be sporting berets, pants, blazers and shoes manufactured in China sent a wave of indignation from sea to shining sea.

In this, an election year, none were more vocal than those on Capitol Hill.

“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.

“If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says USA on it, painted by hand, then that’s what they should wear,” he said, referring to an athletic jersey.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference that she’s proud of the nation’s Olympic athletes, but “they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said simply of the USOC, “You’d think they’d know better.”

Yes, you would think so.

So, why didn’t they know better? Could it be Team USA has been garbed in foreign-manufactured uniforms before? Yes, they have. In fact, Ralph Lauren dressed athletes in the 2008 opening ceremonies in Beijing.

At the 2010 winter games, the American berets were, well, North American. They came from Canada.

Now that politicians have fleeced the subject for all its worth, it is doubtful that Team USA will show up at the opening ceremonies — in two weeks — wearing anything American-made.

But it is also doubtful that Olympic uniforms will ever be made anywhere but the good ol’ US of A ever again. Chalk it up as a win for American textile manufacturers … eventually.