Normally during the prestigious opening ceremony at the Olympic Games, your eyes would be focused on the tremendous athletes that have worked tirelessly to be amongst the best in the world. But if you plan on watching the opening ceremony on Friday and you're from Maine, make sure to take a peek at the shoes adorned by Team USA and beam with pride as all of them were handmade in Lewiston.

Shared on Facebook by Debbie Roy Rancourt, for the second straight Olympic Games, Rancourt and Company Shoemakers will have a featured role in outfitting Team USA in Tokyo. As Rancourt mentions in her Facebook post, the shoes worn by every member the United States Olympic Team during the opening ceremony was crafted by the Lewiston-based company. Just like in 2016, Rancourt and Co. sourced every piece of material here in the United States before piecing together the handmade shoes.

Rancourt and Company remains as one of Maine's last shoemakers. For some families who have spent generations in Lewiston/Auburn, they've likely heard stories from their grandparents or great-grandparents about Lewiston and Auburn being the shoe hub of Maine. At its height in the 1920's, Lewiston and Auburn boasted 12 shoe factories that employed more than 8,000 people. Those factories were cranking out nearly 70,000 shoes per day. Eventually the 'Great Shoe Strike" of 1937 as well as cheaper manufacturing elsewhere led to the demise of most shoe shops in the twin cities.

But Rancourt and Company is still standing and will be featured prominently this Friday night at the Olympic Games. Congratulations.

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