One of the most basic roles of a nation's Olympic committee is to outfit its athletes: clothes, bags, training gear, all that good stuff. Someone at the Egyptian Olympic Committee appears to have outsourced that responsibility to the lowest bidder, because all 117 Egyptian Olympians were given counterfeit Nike gear. What's worse, they've had to pay out of their own pockets to replace it.
Synchronized swimmer Yomna Khallaf tweeted about the mess, as translated by The Guardian:
"The bags for example have big nike logo in the front and the zippers are adidas. It's so frustrating that we had to pay extra 2000 Egyptian pounds [about $330 USD] to have other proper stuff to wear so that we can look okay not even good … We'd rather wear plain white or black shirts than this shitty stuff!"
The EOC head insists that this was all a mistake—oh wait, no it wasn't, they specifically contracted with a Chinese distributor of counterfeits because it was the cheapest:
"We signed with a Chinese distributor in light of Egypt's economic situation," Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed Ali told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Ali said the real thing was just too expensive, and the state of Egypt's battered finances led him to opt for the counterfeit gear, which he said was "sufficient."
More Ali, from Ahram Online:
"We bought the clothing from a Nike agent. You can never tell the difference between the original and the fake ones. All Nike products in the Egyptian Market are made in China. They all have the same logo. How can you know?"
Nike has attempted to file a complaint with Egypt, but Ali says, basically, fuck off and go sue the Chinese. I believe this sort of globalism embodies the true Olympic spirit.