The Games of the Olympiad XXX are getting close: members of the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team leave for London tomorrow.
The Deaner and I have been in Arizona for a few days, but our preparations for our trip continue. We are now registered for the Proctor and Gamble Hospitality House, I’ve requested my Proctor and Gamble VISA card (from the promotion to help Olympians’ moms get to the Olympics), and tickets that were sold have been sent to their new owners. I’ve done more research on how we’ll get from Heathrow to the hotel, from the hotel to the Proctor and Gamble House, and from the hotel to the rowing venue.
The Proctor and Gamble House is a great benefit of being a member of an athlete’s family. Although we don’t know exactly what the London P & G House holds in store, the Bank of America Hospitality House was an wonderful oasis in the sea of humanity in Beijing. It was a beautifully appointed gathering place for American athletes and their families. It was open from early morning to late at night, and once you were credentialed, you could drop in anytime during the games for free food, free alcohol, comfortable chairs, a bit of air-conditioning, and lots of big screen tvs. We were even able to snag free tickets to other events.
The one clinker this week was the Congressional hullabaloo about the uniforms that the American athletes will wear at the opening ceremonies. I would love to see American-made uniforms, but the timing and presentation of the issue were disgraceful.
If Congress appropriated money to the United States Olympic Committee, it might make sense. But America remains the only country in the word that does not provide government funding for its Olympic athletes. For Congress to tell a non-profit organization that it refuses to support where it can buy things seems like a bad case of overreaching. And to create a public debacle by suggesting that the uniforms be burned is just childish.
I realize that the Olympic team is a symbol of America at its best–but I’d like to know if Congressmen–who represent America not just during the Olympics, but every day of the year–wear American-made clothing when they are on the floor of the House or the Senate? How about military procurement policies? Are all U.S. military uniforms made in America?
My sense is that John Boehner and Harry Reid must have a bone to pick with someone on the USOC that they chose to raise this issue in a way that embarrassed not only the USOC–but all of America–just before the Games begin. Shame on them for acting in such a childish and unprofessional manner.