Americans across the country have expressed their shock and outrage after it was revealed that .
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to dress the U.S. team in berets, blazers and pants — developed by iconic American designer Ralph Lauren — that were manufactured in China while the textile industry here at home struggles due to the economy.
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. said the U.S. Olympic committee should be "ashamed of themselves," according to ABC News. Similarly, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH. said, "You’d think they'd know better."
In a statement released this week, however, the U.S. Olympic Committee defended their choice of Lauren as the designer for the U.S. team's uniforms for the London Games.
"Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky stated. "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America's finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London."
Several leaders have already called upon the U.S. Olympic Committee to ensure all future U.S. team’s uniforms be made in America. Others have asked they scrap current uniforms and have them remade by an American manufacturer over the next two weeks.
The following is the full statement released by United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun in response to the criticism:
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.
With athletes having already arrived in London, and the apparel distribution process beginning this weekend, we are unfortunately not able to make a change for London. We are absolutely committed, however, to working with our sponsors to ensure that the concerns voiced are addressed. To that end, Ralph Lauren has agreed to domestically manufacture Team USA's apparel for Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
In the meantime, we ask for the American people's support. The members of Team USA have dedicated their entire lives to training for this one moment. They are some of the finest men and women this country has to offer and they are prepared to succeed both on and off the field of play in London. 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.
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