Your article entitled “Medals, not uniforms, are what matters” that was published in a local newspaper, The Reading Eagle, on August 4, 2012 hits home and deserves a response.
Your conclusion that the medal count is the “measure that matters” displays an ignorance of the process of winning these medals.
Training athletes takes development of physical and mental talent. That training requires commitment, hard work, determination, coaching and financial support from families and/or sponsors and governments. When the family pays the way, these financial sacrifices are substantial. It takes jobs and wealth to handle the financial requirements.
Our country’s financial wealth has come largely from industry where jobs provide for the pursuit of life opportunities sometimes called “the American Dream.”
Every manufacturing job creates 4 to 5 residual jobs which is more than three times as powerful as other sectors of our economy, like the service industry.
Some Americans and elected officials have favored “free trade” and bought the lowest cost items without considering the impact on manufacturing jobs, wealth, communities, our economy and (less important things like) winning medals.
Your theory that not many jobs would have been impacted if the U.S. uniforms had been made by American manufacturers misses the point. Like it or not, we need a strong manufacturing sector to be a world leader and some of our citizens are thankfully now realizing this.
It is too late for some industries. The making of clothing is on the brink. Some of us are hanging on. Suggesting that it does not matter is sad and short sighted.
A recent Goldman Sachs study concluded that economic factors do play a role in predicting Olympic success.
Still not convinced? You write that medals are what matters and you acknowledged that most of your clothes are made in China. The U.S. trade deficit with China in 1985 was only $6 million. In the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, China won 32 medals to 174 for the U.S., so we had nearly 5.5 times more medals. Last year our trade deficit with China was $295 billion. Check the medal count at the end of these games. American Made Matters!
President & CEO, Bollman Hat Company
Founder, American Made Matters