Designer Ralph Lauren announces that the next Winter Olympics uniforms will be made in the USA

8:13 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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(USA Today/AP) - At the next Olympics, the team from the USA will wear uniforms made in the USA.

Designer Ralph Lauren announced Friday that the uniforms it provides the U.S. Olympic team at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will, in fact, be made in the United States.

The U.S. uniforms for the opening ceremony at the London Games were made in China, which sparked congressional criticism of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the USOC should be "ashamed of themselves."

In a statement released Friday, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said there is not enough time to make a change for the London Games because some athletes have already arrived in London and uniform distribution begins this weekend.

"We take seriously the concerns we've heard from members of Congress and the American public regarding the U.S. Olympic Team's Opening and Closing Ceremonies uniforms," Blackmun's statement read.

"We are absolutely committed ... to working with our sponsors to ensure that the concerns voiced are addressed," the statement continued.

The USOC defended its choice of Ralph Lauren, saying it was grateful for the support from an "iconic American company."

Ralph Lauren, which has an apparel contract with the USOC through 2020, initially declined comment on the criticism, but 24 hours later announced clothes for future Olympics would be made in the USA.

The company also released a statement Friday night.

"Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States," the company said.

"In the meantime, we ask for the American people's support," Blackmun said. "The members of Team USA have dedicated their entire lives to training for this one moment. ... Our country should be proud of the individual athletes that will represent them in London and I'm hopeful that everyone will rally around Team USA."


From USA Today staff and wire reports

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