That patriotic blonde athlete is snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, and back in October, she and some other 2014 Winter Olympics hopefuls appeared on TODAY for the “100 Days Out” event to drum up some excitement and support for their upcoming trip to Sochi, Russia. Gretchen and her fellow American athletes were tossing pairs of mittens out to the crowd, and I assume they’re the same or similar to the “Go USA” mittens that the U.S. Olympic Committee is selling for $14 on its website. Either way, those cheap mittens are about to have the political talking heads all fired up, because just like the 2012 Summer Olympics USA gear, they’re made in China.
But before we get our red, white and blue panties in a bunch over a little label on the inside of a glove, the USOC wants everyone to know that there are American-made mittens they can buy, too.
USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the “official” mittens being worn by the athletes at the opening ceremony are made in the USA. They’re also available to the public for $98 a pair on the Ralph Lauren website, which proudly proclaims its products are “Made in America” almost everywhere you look on the page for its official Team USA collection.
But the federation, which receives no government funding and is always trying to find new ways to raise money for its athletes, was going for a lower price point for its fundraiser. With the games more than a month away, it has raised $500,000 from the mitten sales.
“We wanted to create a fundraising opportunity where almost anyone could support Team USA,” Sandusky said. (Via the AP)
See? The USOC doesn’t have any support from the government, so it needs to do whatever it can to pay the way for so many talented athletes to compete in Sochi. So we’re all kind of jerks, if you think about it, because we’re not spending $100 on the Ralph Lauren gloves. The good news is that if you can’t afford $100, you can leave the fingers off and pick up this pair of Ralph Lauren USA gloves for just $68!
(Banner via Getty)