At next year's Sochi Games, United States athletes will be wearing gear created by Ralph Lauren. And in response to heavy criticism in 2012 that U.S. garments were created overseas, this round will be completely created by American manufacturers.
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The Ralph Lauren Corp. engaged the services of more than 40 companies stretching from the far West to New York's Garment District to create the team's uniforms, including the Closing Ceremony outfit pictured above. Ralph Lauren took over the manufacturing duties from the Canadian company Roots in 2008.
Individual athletic uniforms will be made by a variety of companies, though some, like The North Face, have also pledged to use only made-in-the-U.S.A. clothing.
The outcry over foreign production forced Ralph Lauren to reconsider its supply pipeline, and provided a stark lesson in the realities of American manufacturing. Because domestic manufacturing facilities and vendors do not exist in sufficient numbers, Ralph Lauren had to cut back on the line.
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"As an athlete, the clothing means even more than you'd think," said Evan Lysacek, who won a figure-skating gold in 2010. "The training, the sacrifices, the lifestyle, which is not glamorous and can be grueling and trying at times, all seem to come together in the moment when you realize you are part of the Olympic team. The moment you put on those first pieces of the American team clothes, you feel like it's real."
Other elements of the outfit are pictured below:
The Sochi Games begin on February 7, 2014.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ralph Lauren