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Fourth-Place Medal

The USOC is fundraising by selling mittens that are made in China

Fourth-Place Medal

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(TeamUSAShop.com)

When the Winter Olympics begin in February, U.S. athletes will be equipped with clothing made exclusively by American manufacturers.

The same might not be said for the fans who are rooting them along.

According to The Associated Press, the United States Olympic Committee is selling "Go USA" mittens that were made in China. Priced at $14, the mittens are part of the "Raise Your Hands" movement for Sochi 2014 and are aimed to capitalize on the mitten mania that ran wild during the Vancouver Games in 2010.

The USOC, however, drew heavy criticism in 2012 when it was discovered the U.S. team was sent to London's Opening Ceremony in clothes that were entirely made in China. That led to a promise from both the USOC and Ralph Lauren that 2014 would be different.

That would apparently seem to be the case. A USOC spokesperson told the AP that the "real" mittens the U.S. team will wear are priced at $95 a pair. Since that's out of the price range of many Olympic fans, they opted for a cheaper set — one that was apparently only available via overseas outsourcing.

''We wanted to create a fundraising opportunity where almost anyone could support Team USA," spokesperson Patrick Sandusky told AP reporter Eddie Pells.

While many fans prefer American-made goods, the realities of the global market often steer things the other way. Still, it'll be interesting to see which way the market votes on this — and if the USOC does any backtracking if the criticism increases.

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