The Egyptian athletes heading to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics recently got the shortest end of the struggle stick. In an effort to save money, the Egyptian Olympic Committee outfitted all 117 of its Olympians with knockoff Nike gear.

Synchronized swimmer Yoman Khallaf put the embarrassing blunder on blast with a Twitter post revealing how Egypt lost before they even entered the games. “It’s so frustrating that we had to pay an extra 2,000 [Egyptian] pounds to have other proper stuff to wear so that we can look OK, not even good,” she said, referencing her workout bag which had a Nike logo on the front, but Adidas zippers.

When confronted about the foolery, Khallaf said team officials told her to either deal with it, or risk “having nothing at all.”

Despite purposely going to a Chinese distributor to purchase the fake merchandise, the EOC maintains that the whole thing is one big mistake. “We signed with a Chinese distributor in light of Egypt’s economic situation,” explained Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed Ali. “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?

“We are not clothing line experts — we believed that this distributor was genuine, but the gear may or may not be authentic.” (Surely you don’t have to be an “expert” to notice that a logo and a zipper should be of the same brand).

Once Nike found out about the alleged mishap, the company requested that the EOC take “immediate action,” but have yet to receive a response.

Just two days shy of the opening ceremony, the Olympics have been riddled with strife. As previously reported a Greek Olympian was kicked off her team for sending out a racist tweet and will no longer be allowed to compete.

On the plus side, at least she didn’t have to pay for fake goods.


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Photo: Nike

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