Summer 2008 Olympics Were ... Made In China!?

Almost everything in today's world is either made in China, Japan, or Korea. Look at a cell phone, computer, video game system, alarm clock, clothing, automobiles, etc. The list goes on and on. Today many companies are making their products or at least the parts that are required to make the end-user product as cheaply as possible. This is done by either manufacturing the parts or outsourcing the manufacturing to companies in China and other poor developing countries.\n\n

Made In China - Electronic Label

Having the Olympics finish just under a week ago brings me to the fact that this year the Olympics were also, you guessed it, "Made in China". This year a total of 11,028 athletes from 204 participating countries traveled to Beijing, China to see if they could have a hand at making their own history in China. History was made in China this year when the United States' own swimmer, Michael Phelps, won all 8 of the events that he went there to participate giving himself the title of best Olympian of all time, having the most gold medals in one Olympics.\n\n

Made In China - Clothing Label

\n\nThinking about the Olympics and things that are made in China brings up the fact that about 80 percent of the Canadian Olympic team's uniforms were also made in China. This brought much upset to the textile industry of Canada. Originally the Canadian Olympic Committee agreed on having at the Olympics 100 percent Canadian made textiles. This was because the Canadian textile industry was going into a small slump and that the number of requested uniforms and publicly sold clothing items would help to reverse this. Canadian clothing company Roots, which made the Team Canada beret that became the hit of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, was a previous supplier for Canadian athletes. The company made a point of making its Olympic clothing in Canada. This year Hudson's Bay Company was the sole supplier for Team Canada winning the bid in 2005 against Roots with a $100-million bid. There are a couple of reasons attributed to this, one the natural resources of China (bamboo, cacona, and organic-blended cotton) help to make the clothing have moisture wicking properties and help to keep the athletes cooler. These resources were unavailable in Canada so they had to go elsewhere. Also Hillary Marshall also was quoted saying that it was also partly a cost factor, especially considering the quantities of clothing required for both the team and for public sales. The Canadian government and HBC both underestimated the price of producing the number of clothes. They have also said they are being to look for ways to lower the cost and still keep the clothing Canadian made for the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver.\n\n

Beijing Olympic Logo

As the hype of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics winds down let us reflect on how much in our day-to-day lives we use the products that have been made in China. Also let us reflect on the wise words of our beloved, Doc Brown from the ever popular Back to the Future series when he said, "No wonder this fail, it's made in Japan!" For years the Japanese have taken pride on the products that they make, the Chinese on the other hand try and produce products cheaply, which they are good at doing, but tend to leave quality at the door. Hopefully for the athletics at the Olympics the same does not hold true. I believe that this did not hold true because during the Olympics there were 43 new world records and 132 new Olympic records set. A record 87 countries won a medal during the Olympics. Michael Phelps, noted earlier, broke the records for most golds in one Olympics and for most career gold medals for an Olympian. Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, secured the traditional title "World's Fastest Man" by setting new world records in the 100m and 200m dashes.