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Olympic red mittens why oprah stephen colbert amp joe biden love em where to get your own winter

Olympic Red Mittens: Why Oprah, Stephen Colbert & Joe Biden Love 'em – Where To Get Your Own Winter Games Red Mittens – Hobbies – Crafts – Co


When Oprah gave her audience the Canadian Olympic Red Mittens, one of her producers reported, “It was incredible. I’ve never seen an audience EVER as excited as getting these Red Mittens!”

In a sign that what started as an experiment has now entered the global popular culture, Canada’s Olympic red mittens were noticed in the crowd during a TV taping by Oprah Winfrey that week.

She reportedly commented on how much she liked them, and the historic Hudson’s Bay Company of Canada duly sent her 300 pairs, which she gave to her TV audience while interviewing American snowboard gold medallist Shaun ‘The Animal’ White.


If they were hand-wringingly hard to get before, now that Oprah Winfrey got her paws on them, they’re next to impossible to find. As the Canadian Press reported, “America’s hottest TV show host sported Canada’s coolest Olympic swag on her program – a pair of official Olympic retailer HBC’s red mittens with a white maple leaf on the palm.”

The accessory was pronounced the “hottest item” at the Olympics by the daytime TV queen.

When the lights came up as her show began, it was hard not to notice the scarlet adorning her hands, prompting some pouting from the guest being beamed in over satellite from Vancouver, NBC journalist Matt Lauer.

“Nobody can get a hold of these red Canadian mittens and we have scoured the entire country to find one pair for you,” Lauer, co-host of the Today Show, said on air while holding up a pair of the gloves and shaking them in fake exasperation. “And you open the show wearing the darn things.”

In true fashion, Winfrey then proceeded to give the $10 ‘it’ item of the Vancouver Games away to her entire audience.

They cheered and clapped as though she’d given them a car, and then gave mitten-clad high-fives to Winfrey’s next guest, American gold medal snowboarder Shaun White.

Winfrey told her viewers that she noticed some of her audience members sporting the mitts since last week, and decided she wanted some.

A spokeswoman for HBC said the company sent a batch of more than 300 pairs to Winfrey at her request.

The retailer stocked store shelves across the country with three million pairs of mittens, and two million of them sold even before the Winter Games began.

Comments online were mostly warm and fuzzy over the mitten’s guest appearance.

“I don’t think anyone in Oprah’s audience should get red maple-leaf Olympic mittens unless they’re more available to the rest of us,” one Twitter user posted.

But it’s still another touchstone moment in the sudden rise of Canadian patriotism, said marketing professor Lindsay Meredith at Simon Fraser University.

“Finally, it looks like Canadian nationalism has come out of the closet,” he said.


They were the hottest commodity at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games – those elusive red mittens.

The woven hand warmers had been flying off the shelves at HBC stores and Olympic retail shops since the games began, but now that they’ve been stamped with the official celebrity seal of approval, finding a pair even now is a challenging task. That is, unless you’re Oprah – or comedian Stephen Colbert, hockey icon Wayne Gretzky or U.S. VP Joe Biden, who all sported their pairs on TV.

E-bay is still doing big business on what has become THE collectible item of the 2010 Olympics.

Even home crafter MomInStitches couldn’t keep her home knitted Red Mitten/white maple leaf fridge magnets on her eBay (goodday008) and Etsy (MomInStitches) pages, reporting that they were even outselling her popular “I need a hug!” sweater fridge magnets.


When the Canadian Olympic Store first announced the mittens, no one knew they would gain such popularity: “This winter, keep warm and show your support of Canadian athletes in their quest for gold at the 2010 Winter Games by wearing a pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens.

“Wear your mittens at the rink, schoolyard or along the Olympic Torch Relay route when it comes to your community. At only $10, the Red Mittens are one of the must-have mementos of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“Net proceeds from every pair sold go toward supporting Canadian athletes in gaining access to top equipment and training…”

If they only had known…

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