China Calls US Outrage Over Olympic Uniforms 'Hypocritical'

Monday, 16 Jul 2012 11:12 AM

By Patrick Hobin

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China’s official news agency is calling outrage over U.S. Olympic uniforms made in China “hypocritical” and “irresponsible,” Fox News reported.

Members of Congress fumed last week about the U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to dress the U.S. team in Chinese-manufactured berets, blazers, and pants while the American textile industry struggles economically with many U.S. workers desperate for jobs.

The Xinhua News Agency said American politicians went too far in their criticism. "The Olympics spirit is all about separating sports from politics, but these U.S. politicians are going too far and trying to force a political tag onto the uniforms," the news service said in Chinese-language commentary, according to Reuters.

The Chinese news agency also called out Senate majority leader Harry Reid for his comments. Reid had said, "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.”

"If there is anything that should be burned, it should really be the hypocrisy of the U.S. politics," Xinhua said.

"The reason this issue has stirred people up is because the words 'made-in-China' touch upon the most sensitive topic of the U.S. election - 'outsourcing'," Xinhua said, according to Reuters.

Ralph Lauren — which made uniforms for this year’s U.S. Olympic team in China — said it will produce uniforms in the U.S. for the winter games in 2014, Fox News reported. Meanwhile, the Russian Olympic team is eyeing Los Angeles-based American Apparel to design its uniforms for the 2014 games.

Ralph Lauren also designed uniforms for U.S. teams in the past two Olympics — Beijing in 2008 and Vancouver in 2010, according to the New York Times.

This is hardly the first time patriotism has been discussed when it comes to Olympic clothing. The must-have souvenir of the 2002 Salt Lake Games was a fleece beret, something that athletes wore in the opening ceremony and prompted countless people to spend hours on lines waiting to purchase during those Olympics.

Those berets were made by Roots, a Canadian company that was the official U.S. team outfitter for that opening ceremony.

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