Tag Archives | Olympics

Hundreds Of Olympic ‘Branding Police’ Begin Patrolling Britain Today

The previously discussed purple-uniformed brand police have hit the streets, and will fine or jail those who violate the specially-legislated “rights” of companies which are official Olympic sponsors. The Independent writes:

Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors’ multimillion-pound marketing deals. Wearing purple caps and tops… checking firms to ensure they are not staging “ambush marketing” or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and BP.

[Drinking establishments] have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event. At the 40 Olympics venues, 800 retailers have been banned from serving chips to avoid infringing fast-food rights secured by McDonald’s.

Marina Palomba, for the McCann Worldgroup agency in London, described the rules as “the most draconian law in advance of an Olympic Games ever”.

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Cloned Horses Allowed To Compete In The Olympics

It won’t be long before the basketball championship consists of an American squad of Michael Jordan clones squaring off against a foreign squad of Michael Jordan clones with pencil mustaches. Slate reports:

Reversing an earlier ban, the international governing body for equestrian sports has decided that cloned horses can compete alongside their traditionally bred counterparts.

“The FEI will not forbid participation of clones or their progenies in FEI competitions,” the Federation Equestre Internationale said after its June meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to The Chronicle of the Horse. “The FEI will continue to monitor further research, especially with regard to equine welfare.”

That’s good news for two companies—ViaGen in Texas and Cryozootech in France—that have successfully cloned champion horses, mainly for breeding purposes. Cryozootech has produced two clones of the American show-jumping champion Gem Twist. ViaGen, which owns the rights to the technology that produced the famous cloned sheep Dolly, has cloned several horses.

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Olympics Struggle With ‘Policing Femininity’

In a potential move which seems both startlingly futuristic and archaic, the Olympics may require some of the world’s top female athletes to alter their natural bodies through surgery or hormone therapy to become more similar to what the Olympics imagines a “woman” is, if they wish to compete. Time to scrap the outdated two-gender sporting system and experiment with three or more classes? The Toronto Star writes:

There are female athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games this summer after undergoing treatment to make them less masculine. Still others are being secretly investigated for displaying overly manly characteristics, as sport’s highest medical officials attempt to quantify — and regulate — the hormonal difference between male and female athletes.

Caster Semenya, the South African runner who was so fast and muscular that many suspected she was a man, exploded onto the front pages three years ago. She was considered an outlier, a one-time anomaly.

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A ‘Sonic Weapon’ Can Be Deployed At the London Olympics (If Needs Be)

LRADReports Gavin Thomas for BBC News:
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed a device which can be used as a "sonic weapon" will be deployed in London during the Olympics. The American-made Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) can be used to send verbal warnings over a long distance or emit a beam of pain-inducing tones. The equipment was spotted fixed to a landing craft on the Thames at Westminster this week. An MoD spokesman said it would be used "primarily in the loud hailer mode". Royal Marines operating in patrol craft from HMS Ocean are also heavily armed with conventional firearms.
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Britain To Install Missiles In Apartment Complexes For London Olympics

London 2012More 2012 Olympics dystopianism as a dense East London neighborhood will be turned into a military base, in the name of pole-vaulting. Robert Booth writes in the Guardian:

The Bow Quarter complex of more than 700 apartments is the first of a handful of housing developments close to the Olympic Park chosen by military planners to host high velocity rockets aimed at preventing an airborne terrorist attack on this summer’s Games.

Ministry of Defence officials will this week inform a number of other residents that their homes have been selected to become part of London’s military lockdown. The missile units will be installed and armed with dummy rockets in time for a national Olympic security exercise starting on Wednesday. The test of the government’s £1bn security plans will see RAF Typhoon fast jets and military helicopters operating above London and the home counties.

“It is rather surreal,” said Nathan Lewis, a software developer who lives in the block beneath where the weapons will be located.

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‘Branding Police’ Will Patrol 2012 Olympics

Olympics---Team-GB-Kit-Un-007Are we headed for a future in which people are jailed for “branding crimes”? A special set of laws passed by British Parliament, at the behest of the International Olympic Committee, criminalizes “brand violations” related to sponsors of the London Olympics. It will be illegal for local businesses to publicly display words such as ‘twenty-twelve’, ‘medals’, and ‘London Games’. Athletes are banned from publicly mentioning companies or products that are not sponsors. Crack teams will patrol Olympic Village bathrooms, taping over manufacturers’ logos on soap dispensers and toilets. The Guardian writes:

With just a little more than three months to go until the opening of the London 2012 Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many legal experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect sponsors’ brands and broadcasting rights, affecting every athlete, Olympics ticket holder and business in the UK.

It is certainly very tough legislation,” says Paul Jordan, a marketing specialist at law firm Bristows, which is advising both official sponsors and non-sponsoring businesses on the new laws.

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Iran Says Olympic Logo Spells ‘Zion’

iran-claims-london-2012-olympics-logo-spells-the--4621-1298971679-1London’s much-maligned logo for the 2012 Olympics is a bit of a Rorschach test, as large numbers of people have claimed it resembles everything from a swastika to Lisa Simpson performing a sexual act. Now Iran has logged a formal complaint and is threatening to boycott the Olympic Games, as word spreads that the graphic in fact reads, “ZION”, the Guardian reports. (To me, it is clearly the Twin Towers collapsing.)

In a formal complaint to the International Olympic Committee, Tehran has called for the graphic to be replaced and its designers “confronted”, warning that Iranian athletes might otherwise be ordered to stay away from the London Games.

According to the state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, which is frequently used to convey official pronouncements, the letter says: “As internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics’ valuable mottos.

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Emergency Shipment of Condoms Headed to Olympic Athletes

I realize this story is being posted a little late; nevertheless here’ s an interesting story by John Shumel writing for Vancouver Now:

Rowdy curling crowds; spontaneous street parties; public drunkenness. You don’t have to look far for evidence that the crowds at Winter Games in Vancouver know how to have a good time.

And, as if anymore proof is needed that a wild Olympic atmosphere permeates B.C.’s largest city, now there’s an apparent condom shortage. That’s right. As you read this, an emergency shipment of condoms is desperately making its way across Canada to the West Coast city.

Health officials in Vancouver have already provided 100,000 free condoms to the roughly 7,000 athletes and officials at the Games. That’s about 14 condoms per person. But as of Wednesday, those supplies started running dangerously low. So naturally, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS research decided to step and make sure there were no hitches in Olympic action.

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Wall Street’s Love Affair with Curling

Good to know these folks can take a break from destroying this nation's economy. “It is like drinking merlot,” said one trader. See a video below on what the heck curling is. Eric Dash writes in the New York Times:
Wall Street trading is often described as a blood sport. But inside the great investment houses, the sport of the moment is, of all things, curling — that oddball of the Olympics that is sort of like shuffleboard on ice. This slow-poke game, which originated in 16th-century Scotland, has captivated the Type-A world of Wall Street almost by accident. CNBC, whose market chatter is the background music on trading floors, switches to curling from Vancouver shortly after the closing bell. And so, after a day of braying for money in the markets, traders are winding down with curling. It is, fans say, a bit of after-market therapy. Curling is so slow and drawn out that it becomes mesmerizing. “It is like drinking merlot,” said Douglas A. Kass, the president of Seabreeze Partners, who got hooked on Olympic curling a few years ago via CNBC. (Read More: New York Times)
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