CAIRO - The tracksuits and bags of Egypt's Olympic team are emblazoned with the familiar Nike and Adidas logos, and the country's committe chairman says that's good enough — even though they're fakes.
"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."
And what if the sports apparel brands don't like it?
If Nike has a problem with it, then it should deal directly with the Chinese distributor who sold it, Ali said in separate remarks to the state-run Ahram Online.
Wondering what the most stylish elements of this year's summer games will be? We compiled a list of the 26 reasons -- from art to decor and fashion to fun -- we're excited for London 2012.
A Is For Adam Van Koeverden
Not only is Adam Van Koeverden the face of Roots, he is one of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/05/9-canadian-athletes-to-watch-2012-summer-olympics-london_n_1651317.html" target="_hplink">The Huffington Post Canada's Olympians to watch</a>. Good looking and talented -- Van Koeverden makes us proud. <em>And</em> he can accessorize with any colour of medal, because, you know, he's won three -- one in every shade.
B Is For Bikinis
Beach volleyball players no longer have to sport the too tiny bikinis of past summer Olympics. In fact, it could be so cold this year they may rock long sleeve shirts. A letdown for fans, yes; but a necessity to keep muscles warm.
C Is For Cycling
Because many of the streets of London will be shutting down due to the Olympics, we suspect people will have to take to their bicycles and skip on the car. This presents an opportunity to see some stylish bike fashion around town. And let's not forget the skin-tight uniforms of those participating in the official biking events.
D Is For David Beckham
Thank you David Beckham for bidding to have the Olympics in London. And thank you David Beckham for being as attractive as you are. We can't wait to see what you and your wife, Posh Spice, wear to the various parties and events you'll be at.
E Is For Editorial Spreads
While <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/the-vancouver-observer/vogue-team-usa_b_1552860.html?ir=Canada+Style" target="_hplink">Vogue's cover of Olympic athletes</a> was a little disappointing, athletes have been able to showcase their style stuff in other ways. Our very own <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/08/boxer-mary-spencer-now-a-_n_1333125.html" target="_hplink">Mary Spencer is a CoverGirl</a>, and P&G chose British athletes to be brand ambassadors for 2012 (just look at the über patriotic spread).
F Is For Flags
We can't even hypothesize on how many Union Jacks we'll see starting Friday. Or any flag for that matter. We're hoping that Geri Halliwell comes out at the closing ceremonies in her iconic Union Jack dress. Dreams can come true, right?!
G Is For Gold Medal Stamps
For those representing the U.K. at this summer's games, a win means much more than just getting a gold medal -- the athlete will also have a stamp created with their picture on it. Talk about a stylish way to decorate any envelope.
H Is For The Hudson's Bay Company
One of the most classic Canadian companies is dressing our Olympians for London -- in everything from denim jackets to bold windbreakers. The good news is, you can don some of the wares, too (the collection is available in The Bay stores). Simply swap your Vancouver 2010 heart mittens for London 2012 red sunglasses.
I Is For Innovative Materials
With every Olympics, comes newer, faster, more innovative materials created to shave nanoseconds off an athlete's time. With ultra-lightweight sneakers and seal-esque suits, this year's material technology will be an important part of the games.
J Is For Jolie At The Olympics
It's rumoured Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be hosting one of the most star-studded parties of the Olympics. The event, Sports For Peace, will take place two days before the opening ceremonies and will have guests like Prince Harry and the Beckham's in attendance. Talk about a glamorous event and a reason for us to ogle celebs in gowns.
K Is For Kate Middleton
We cannot control our excitement for what Kate will be wearing <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/23/royal-olympic-schedule-wh_n_1695961.html?utm_hp_ref=canada" target="_hplink">to her scheduled events</a>. We envision a whole lot of Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.
L Is For London 1948
This is London's second time hosting the Olympics (lucky!). We'd be happy to have this vintage poster hanging in our house even if 1948 was way before our time.
M Is For Mascots
Although we don't quite understand this year's mascots, we think they look awfully cuddly. Hopefully, Kate and Will get their photo snapped with these guys -- it'd be cheesily amazing.
N Is For Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell will be joined by fellow supermodels, Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as they take to the runway at the closing ceremonies. The models will be dressed in British designers like Vivienne Westwood and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Talk about a showstopper!
O Is For Opening Ceremony x Adidas
There are so many Olympic collaborations taking place, but Opening Ceremony x Adidas has to be our favourite. The line looks like it stepped straight out of 1998 -- and that's not a problem with us.
P Is For Pop-Up Shops
From H&M to Karl Lagerfeld, designers and companies are opening stores just for the Olympics all over London. If you happen to be heading to the city and want to pick up some limited edition gear, <a href="http://www.elle.com/news/shop/2012-london-olympic-shopping-pop-up-stores" target="_hplink">Elle has a round-up of the top pop-ups to visit</a>.
Q Is For The Queen
As fun as Kate-watching will be, we'll also have our eyes peeled for the Queen. Hopefully she has a few spectacular hats ready-to-wear for her opening ceremony duties.
R Is For Ralph Lauren
Nothing says America more than a Ralph Lauren-designed uniform. And the U.S. outfits are all about classic Americana (with a dash of odd flight attendant).
S Is For Spice Girls
We want the Spice Girls to spice up the closing ceremonies! <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/spice-girls-london-olympics-perform-closing-ceremony_n_1689224.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment" target="_hplink">It's only rumoured they will perform</a>, but our fingers, toes and eyes are crossed that it'll happen. We're also hopeful they wear some of their iconic 90's outfits.
T Is For The Tube
Transport For London recreated the tube map so that every stop is an Olympic athletic legend. That's 361 Olympic stars -- past and present. Next stop: Michael Phelps, please!
U Is For Umbrellas
With a whole lot of rain on the Olympic horizon, we're sure to see a lot of umbrellas. It's always fun to see how people dress stylishly in the rain, so get ready for some damp sartorial inspiration.
V Is For Visa
Swipe! Swipe! Swipe! You can already hear guests of the Olympic games swiping their cards and buying souvenirs and treats. And as one of the official Olympic sponsors, we're sure Visa logos (and plastic) will be everywhere.
W Is For The Weather
Summer Olympics generally means it's hot, hot, hot. But that may not be true in temperamental London. The weather shows it's going to rain and be significantly chillier than we'd normally expect for the summer games. We're sure our athletes can handle anything Mother Nature throws their way. But just in case, we're glad The Bay has our team decked out with windbreakers and sweatshirts.
X Is For Xtreme Patriotism
If you dare to get decked in Canadiana from head to toe, why not top it off with an <a href="http://www.cnd.com/salon-services/what-is-shellac" target="_hplink">Olympic CND shellac manicure</a>? All of the athletes will be able to get a manicure and pedicure in the Olympic village that will last for 14 days. Bold nails to go with bold patriotism? Why not!
Y Is For The Youngest Athlete
Fifteen. Victoria Moors is 15. We don't know if we need to say more. She will dazzle in her glittery bodysuit while competing in artistic gymnastics.
Z Is For The Zoo
Penguins are classy animals. They're constantly wearing a tuxedo, which means they're always ready for a black-tie event. And this year, lucky them, they get to join human athletes in competing in the summer games. The London Zoo will host an animal Olympics for tourists (check out this penguin practicing his/her dive off their brand new diving board).
"Nike is highly concerned that if these allegations are true, the athletes will have received products that do not meet Nike's quality standards," the company said in an emailed statement late Wednesday.
Nike said its authorized distributor in Egypt tried to contact the Egyptian committee weeks ago, to no avail. On Friday, Nike wrote to the Egyptians requesting "immediate action," the company said.
"We are now in discussions with them to see if a solution can be reached," Nike said.
Egypt's athletes have complained.
Synchronized swimmer Yomna Khallaf wrote on Twitter that she spent more than $300 out of pocket to buy better training gear.
"It's so frustrating that we had to pay extra 2000 (Egyptian) pounds to have other proper stuff to wear so that we can look okay not even good," she tweeted.
The bags the Egypt's Olympic Committee gave the athletes have large Nike logos on the front, but the zippers have "Adidas" written on them, said Khallaf, who is among Egypt's 112-strong team competing in London.
A popular uprising followed by 17 months of political unrest have decimated Egypt's tourism industry and driven investors away. The country's foreign currency reserves dropped by more than one-half since the uprising.
Ali said the committee studied several options before deciding to go with the Chinese distributor.
The knockoffs won because the designer sports labels, whose goods can range in price from $300 to $500 per athlete, are not something the committee can afford.
"This costs a lot of money, especially in light of the team being 112 players," Ali said. "Plus we have the coaches, management and doctors going."
Associated Press writer Maria Sanminiatelli contributed to this story from London.