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Inspirational Story Of One Of The Most Famous Tie-Dye Shirts Created For A Post-Soviet Lithuanian Basketball Team By An American Rock Band Is Going Viral

There are certain pieces of clothing that are just legendary for various reasons. Perhaps their brand is really famous or the person modelling it, but in this case it’s the story and what it meant for the tiny European nation of Lithuania. With the Olympics approaching, people tend to revisit the most inspiring and incredible events that have happened to the athletes. This one story surfaced from as far back as 1992 thanks to Twitter user Mike Korzemba, who goes by the name of @mikekorz and by u/Thryloz on Reddit.

They reminded everyone of a fascinating story of how the Grateful Dead, an already pretty legendary American rock band, responded upon finding out that the freshly independent country of Lithuania was struggling to send their newborn national basketball team to the Olympics. Thanks to the musicians, Lithuania sent their team to the 1992 Olympics wearing incredibly cool T-shirts that became really famous.

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As the Olympics are approaching, the story of Lithuania and their struggle to make it to the 1992 Olympics surfaced, getting a lot of attention online

Image credits: mikekorz

Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 and was ready to conquer the Olympics with their talented athletes finally playing for the nation and not for the USSR. Unfortunately, the financial state of Lithuania’s fund towards the participation in the 1992 Olympics was more than tragic. They announced the country’s withdrawal as there was no sponsorship and a huge lack of money.

Famous Lithuanian NBA player Sarunas Marciulionis was behind the people taking initiative to spread the word about the athletes trying to make it to the Olympics

Image credits: mikekorz

Sarunas Marciulionis, a Lithuanian who was playing for the NBA at that time, understood how desperate his fellow citizens were to make it to the Olympics. Lithuania has always been famous for their dedication and obsession with basketball, so they felt that it was essential to make it to the games. But not with what they had in their pockets back then. Marciulionis, with the help of Warriors assistant coach Donnie Nelson, began raising funds as the story about their struggle was covered by San Francisco Chronicle sports writer George Shirk.

Image credits: mikekorz

American rock band the Grateful Dead came across the story and were amazed by the former USSR country and their dream to send their basketball players to compete

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

The story managed to conquer the hearts of the famous American rock band the Grateful Dead, who decided to invest in the cause. Their public relations manager presented the story to the band members and they decided to contribute to Lithuania’s basketball team’s journey to the Olympics. What also followed was a box of tie-dye T-shirts designed by their band’s designer.

Image credits: Chris Stone

Greg Speirs created the now-legendary shirt design and it was worn by the whole team as they accepted bronze medals at the Olympics in Barcelona

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

The T-shirt that has now become a recognizable token of Lithuania’s sports team was designed by Greg Speirs and features a skeleton dunking a basketball. It came with matching flamboyant shorts—all garments colored in the country’s national colors—yellow, green and red.

The shirt that became a part of pop culture was even worn by Phoebe in Friends

Image credits: VilijaSysaite

Image credits: 40sReborn

People online shared pictures of themselves wearing the famous shirt

Image credits: Charles_Fielden

Lithuania travelled to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and played the games for the first time as a country after being under the USSR for nearly 60 years. They won bronze medals and accepted them wearing the Grateful Dead’s tie-dyes. It was an incredibly emotional and proud moment for the whole nation and it is said that it probably would not had happened without the help of the American rock band.

Image credits: honeydroodroo

The shirt is tie-dyed in the national colors of Lithuania and really stands out

Image credits: EloiseEve

Image credits: ThaMantisMojo

The shirts have now became a part of pop culture and people are often trying to get their hands on the originals as a few other designs have followed. The shirt was also famously worn by Phoebe in Friends and they are often spotted at the Grateful Dead’s concerts. People online shared pictures of them wearing the flamboyant shirts or expressed their fascination with the struggle and freedom story of the Lithuanian basketball team.

And here is what Twitter users had to say about the famous t-shirt and the story behind Lithuania’s basketball team and their journey to the Olympics

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The post Inspirational Story Of One Of The Most Famous Tie-Dye Shirts Created For A Post-Soviet Lithuanian Basketball Team By An American Rock Band Is Going Viral first appeared on Bored Panda.



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