Team USA Olympians and Paralympians will be sporting Nike apparel on the winner’s podium at the Beijing Winter Games this month, but the company is staying tight-lipped on where in the world the uniforms were manufactured.
Team USA and Nike last week unveiled the medal stand uniforms, which include light-blue hooded jackets 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.
Nike has promoted its use of recycled and sustainable materials to make the outfits, but won’t say where they were made. Multiple requests by Fox News Digital inquiring where the outfits are being manufactured went unreturned. When reached by phone, a Nike spokeswoman instructed Fox News Digital to inquire via email, which was not returned.
Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter of Team USA at the Beijing Olympics and will supply the uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies. Those uniforms were manufactured in New Jersey, as Ralph Lauren continues its "Made in USA" policy ever since it came under fire in 2012 for manufacturing Team USA gear in China.
But it doesn’t appear Nike has similarly brought the manufacturing home for Team USA, or there likely would have been a PR blitz to announce as much. The company instead has focused on the versatility of the uniforms that will be worn by some athletes with physical disabilities.
"For the official Team USA Medal Stand look in Beijing, we worked closely with the disability community, including current and former winter and summer Paralympians, in our design and testing process, and used inclusive design principles and methods to create gear that ensures every athlete who competes feels support in style from start to finish," Nike said in a press release.
Nike has come under fire for its operations in China over 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 candidate for world leadership at the expense of the United States.
Republican Rep. Michelle Steel of California in December sent a letter to Nike and 16 other corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics, urging them to use their advertising budgets and platforms to expose the CCP's actions.
Steel pointed to the "human rights abuses and atrocities" occurring right now under Chinese President Xi – such as forced sterilization, "labor camps and murder" of Uyghur and other Muslim minority groups – and cited the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the Games.
President Biden in December announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, meaning the U.S. is not sending an official government delegation to the Games but U.S. athletes can still compete.
Republicans have blasted the response as not going far enough and have called for an athlete boycott and sanctions against the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Fox News’ Houston Keene, Breck Dumas, Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.