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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Olympians should have figured out one thing by now: What they can or cannot wear at the London Games has very little to do with their fashion, marketing sense or patriotism, and a whole lot to do with rules, regulations and, of course, money.
The overseers of the Olympics are protective of their brand and rings — considered one of the most recognizable logos in sports — and what the athletes wear when they’re competing has been tightly regulated, much to the chagrin of some of the games’ stars.
Take Michael Phelps, for example. He recently tweeted his dismay at no longer being allowed to wear a swimming cap bearing miniature American flags on the front and back.
“Gotta love an organizing committee telling us we can’t do that anymore,” he said on Twitter.
But neither the International nor U.S. Olympic Committees are making any apologies. The IOC keeps a tight grip on when and where advertising and other markings can be worn at the games. After all, its coffers took in more than $2.4 billion (over the four-year period ending in 2008, for instance) in marketing rights from companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
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