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Olympic Team USA uniforms get Made in USA label

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 29, 2013 at 8:29 am •  Published: October 29, 2013
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During the London flap, he said, "what no one wanted to look at was the true complexity of making Olympic uniforms. We would have done it here if we could, but it was so much more complicated than people realized. Lots of places said they could help us make them, but when we called them, they couldn't. It was grandstanding by a lot of companies. But we have since found manufacturers, and there are many more out there and we will keep reaching out."

Jeanne Carver of rural Maupin, Ore., couldn't quite believe the call that came 18 months ago.

Imperial Stock Ranch, founded in 1871 and now run by Carver and her husband, Dan, was at a make-or-break time, especially for its sheep business. They kept hearing that apparel manufacturing was going offshore and they wouldn't ship U.S. wool overseas, Carver said. Then the phone rang in the summer of 2012.

"I thought the phone was the tinkling of sheep bells!" Carver said. But it was the product development director for the Ralph Lauren knitwear division. "I literally said to him, 'You are kidding me!'"

When Robert Cramer told her he was looking for yarn for Team USA sweaters and asked for a tour, "The two things that went through my head were, 'Oh my god, what will I wear? And what am I going to feed fashion people from New York?!'"

(She went with her "clean" cowboy boots and a menu that included lasagna made with ground beef from the ranch.)

The fact that these were for Olympic uniforms was "icing on the cake." She was just so appreciative that a big company was paying attention to domestic ranchers and farmers, wool dyers and sewers.

The athletes are happy to see more Americans represented, too, says Lysacek.

"What I hear from the athletes on this topic is that we go out in the Olympic Games and in every competition, we represent the United States of America. I might not know every citizen, but I represent them," he said. "The more people who are tied into the Olympic story, the closer to home each story hits."

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Follow Samantha Critchell and AP Fashion fashion coverage on Twitter at @AP_Fashion or @Sam_Critchell

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