Jacksonville design company making t-shirts for Olympic gold medalist

By Gary Scott on August 10, 2016 at 1:09pm

T-shirts from a local design company are being worn from Jacksonville to Rio de Janiero.

Outbreak Designs in Jacksonville was asked to produce shirts for Olympian Ryan Held, a swimmer based out of Springfield who recently won a gold medal with Team USA’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay team.

Outbreak Designs owner Rick Rolson spoke about the experience.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling, especially whenever you see your shirts on TV over in Brazil. We have done the Springfield Y Typhoon swim team shirts for a few years now, and (Held) being an ex-swimmer kind of created an opportunity there,” says Rolson.

Proceeds from the Held t-shirts are being donated to the Strong Kids Program at the Springfield YMCA. The Strong Kids Program aims to help underprivileged kids in the Springfield area by providing youth scholarship memberships and summer camps. Rolson talked about the decision to give back.

“Outbreak Designs was going to donate a percentage back to the Held family to help pay for the trip. (Held’s) family graciously declined and said they would like to donate to the Strong Kids campaign at the Y. So Outbreak Designs and the Held family would donate it in the name of gold medalist Ryan Held,” Rolson explains.

Rolson mentioned that Outbreak Designs has received many t-shirt orders from the Springfield area, and that he hopes the trend will grow to Jacksonville. Held, a graduate of Sacred-Heart Griffin, followed Olympic legend Michael Phelps in the third leg of the men’s four-by-one freestyle.