Published December 17, 2013
The outside of the mittens say "Go USA;" the insides say "Made in China."
Less than two years after being criticized for having the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms made in China, the U.S. Olympic Committee has another wardrobe malfunction on its hands.
The red-white-and-blue mittens it's selling to raise funds for winter athletes were produced in China.
The USOC is charging $14 a pair for the blue hand-warmers that have the word "Go" embroidered in red on the left mitten and "USA" on the right. Also part of that left mitten is the tag, which says the gloves are "100% acrylic," ''One Size Fits Most" and "Made in China."
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.
The foreign-made mittens are available at the USOC's official online shop of the U.S. Olympic Team.\
The mittens are an American spin on an idea that started in Canada at the last Winter Games. The host country produced "Go Canada" mittens that turned out to be the hot item of the Olympics, raising more than $14 million for the Canadian team. Those mittens, which sold for $10 a pair, were made in China, too.
The Associated Press contributed to this report