As the US Olympic Committee receives NO tax $$$s from the Congress, why do congressmen feel they have a right to complain about where private donations to a private corporation (US Olympic Committee) are spent???
Berets? Not ballcaps or cowboy hats? Ralph Lauren seemed poised to incite style wars when he chose to dress U.S. Olympians for the Opening Ceremonies in headwear that evokes French intellectualism more than American athletic prowess or even our frontier history.
On Wednesday, the debate careened to China — an economically more threatening rival than fashion-conscious France — after ABC’s “World News” announced that U.S. Olympians, the torchbearers of American athleticism, would wear navy blazers produced in China.
Now, an American label, Hickey Freeman, has recognized opportunity in the fray and offered to make the uniforms right here in the good ol’ United States — and in just two weeks flat. That would please Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and her Democratic Senate colleagues from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio, who introduced a bill late Friday that requires the U.S. Olympic Committee to outfit Olympic athletes in ceremonial uniforms “sewn or assembled in the United States.”
The fashion to’s and fro’s have hit a range of nerves: from uncertainties about our national identity in a country with no national dress to economic worries and basic patriotism. It’s true: Our athletes can’t parade in furry ushankas as the U.S.S.R did in 1980 or wear grass skirts and leis as the Marshall Islands did in 2008. But shouldn’t the men and women representing these 50 states showcase clothes made by somebody somewhere here?
Maybe Levi’s? (No, sadly, Levi’s closed its last U.S. plant in 2003.)
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