Romney's Olympic Uniforms Were Made in Burma

Salt Lake outsourcing caused outcry in 2002

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2012 3:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mitt Romney hasn't had much to say on the controversy over Team USA's made -in-China uniforms, and the Huffington Post thinks it knows why: When Romney was running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, production of more than 10,000 torchbearer uniforms was outsourced to Burma. The Southeast Asian nation was being ruled by a brutal military junta at the time, and the decision to make the uniforms there caused an outcry among trade bodies, human rights groups—and some of the torchbearers.

"When I looked at the label for the uniform, I went nuts," one former torchbearer tells the Guardian. "When you are sending work representing the US to a military dictatorship, I have an issue with that." After receiving more than a thousand emails protesting the uniforms, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee offered this bizarre response: "The torch relay clothes were NOT made in Burma. They were manufactured in Myanmar." The committee apologized after activists pointed out that Burma and Myanmar are the same country.

Torchbearer Kerith Woodyard, wearing the made--in-Burma uniform, carries the Olympic flame in Taylorsville, Utah in February 2002.
Torchbearer Kerith Woodyard, wearing the made--in-Burma uniform, carries the Olympic flame in Taylorsville, Utah in February 2002.   (Getty Images)
US Olympian Cindy Parlow wears one of the Burma-made uniforms while taking the torch through Atlanta.
US Olympian Cindy Parlow wears one of the Burma-made uniforms while taking the torch through Atlanta.   (Getty Images)
Mitt Romney poses with two US Olympians in the Burma-made uniforms at the US Capitol, February 2001.
Mitt Romney poses with two US Olympians in the Burma-made uniforms at the US Capitol, February 2001.   (Getty Images)
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