Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wristbands launched by Armstrong latest rage among hip

Wristbands launched by Armstrong latest rage among hip

Wristbands launched by Armstrong latest rage among hip

Look for them and you'll start seeing them everywhere: brightly colored rubber bracelets

around the wrists of trend-setting Phnom Penhois.

The global bracelet fad has reached Cambodia, with increasing numbers of people sporting

stretchy bands with slogans such as "LiveStrong," "Challenge"

and "Courage."

The bracelets retail from between 1,000 riel and $1 at accessory outlets in popular

shopping venues such as Sorya Shopping Center and the Olympic Market.

The wristbands began arriving from Thailand several months ago and are copies of

merchandise used in a fund-raising campaign that began in the United States.

Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France and cancer survivor, pioneered

the trend with the release of the original Lance Armstrong Foundation/Nike wristband

in May 2004, which had the word "LiveStrong" on them.

Boosted by support from talk show host Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, sales of

the yellow LiveStrong bands have raised more than $50 million for cancer research.

The popular bracelets were inspired by "baller bands", thick rubber bands

that US basketball players stretched before pickup games to get warmed up.

Numerous copycats have sprung up around the world, in all shades and for causes as

diverse as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (light blue) and Make Poverty History (white).

Other knockoffs are purely fashion items.

This seems to be the case of the Thailand-imported versions available in Cambodia.

Though they are sometimes referred to as "tsunami bracelets," there appear

to be no philanthropic benefits.

"I think they should give money to charities, because they do in other countries,"

said Bob McNaughton, 13, who owns more than 40 of the plastic bands.

Kim Chanvirak, 16, has been wearing his blue "Nike" bracelet for two months

but is unaware of any charity connection.

"I bought this one because I saw other people wearing it. I don't know anything

about their meaning - I like them because they're attractive."

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group