Beijing Olympics: Nike won’t say where US team podium uniforms are made

Team USA Olympians and Paralympians will wear Nike apparel on the winners’ podium at the Beijing Winter Games this month, but the company remains mum on where in the world the uniforms were made.

Team USA and Nike unveiled the medal stand uniforms last week, which include light blue hoodies and dark blue pants. The jackets have a Paralympic or Olympic patch on the left side, a Nike Swoosh on the right, and a vertical American flag and “USA” on the back.

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Pedestrians outside a Nike store on Buchanan Street in central Glasgow, Scotland. (istock / iStock)

Nike has promoted its use of recycled and sustainable materials to make the outfits, but won’t say where they were made. Several inquiries from Fox News Digital asking where the outfits are made were not returned. When reached by phone, a Nike spokeswoman asked Fox News Digital to inquire via email, which was not returned.

Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics and will supply the uniforms for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. These uniforms were made in New Jersey, as Ralph Lauren has continued its “Made in USA” policy since it was criticized in 2012 for manufacturing Team USA gear in China.

But it doesn’t look like Nike brought the manufacturing home for Team USA as well, or there probably would have been a PR blitz to announce it that much. The company has instead focused on the versatility of the uniforms that will be worn by certain athletes with physical disabilities.

“For the official look of the Team USA medal stand in Beijing, we worked closely with the disability community, including current and former Winter and Summer Paralympians, in our design process. and testing, and have used inclusive design principles and methods to create gear that ensures every athlete who competes feels supported in style from start to finish,” Nike said in a press release.

Pressure from Beijing Olympics broadcasters

Exiled Tibetans use the Olympic rings as a prop during a street protest against the holding of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Dharmsala, India, February 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File/AP Newsroom)

Nike has come under fire for its operations in China following the communist country’s mass imprisonment of its Uyghur population and other human rights abuses.

Activists warn that China is using the 2022 Winter Olympics to legitimize its human rights abuses by positioning itself in many areas as a contender for global leadership at the expense of the United States.

Republican Rep. Michelle Steel of California sent a letter to Nike and 16 other corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics in December, urging them to use their advertising budgets and platforms to expose the CCP’s actions.

Steel pointed to the “human rights abuses and atrocities” currently occurring under Chinese President Xi – such as forced sterilization, “labor camps and the killing” of Uyghurs and other minority groups Muslims – and cited the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the Games.

Covid measures in Beijing before the Communist Party plenum

Soldiers and police stand guard near Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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President Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in December, which means the United States does not send an official government delegation to the Games, but American athletes can still compete.

Republicans criticized the response as not going far enough and called for athlete boycotts and sanctions against the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Fox News’ Houston Keene, Breck Dumas and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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