London’s Summer Olympics will assemble 10,000 athletes from 205 countries at Friday’s opening ceremonies. The next two weeks will no doubt offer thrilling events, broadcast around the world. It seems like yesterday that we were sharing up close in the excitement when Vancouver was the center of 2010 Olympic fever.
While some quibble as to who hosted the first ‘social media Olympics’, London’s Olympics will, among other things, be cast as the greenest ever. “The 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium is built from only a tenth of the total steel used for the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing in 2008, while in the velodrome cyclists will race round a track made from sustainably-sourced Siberian Pine. The organizers are keen to make sure the ‘green’ theme continues beyond the Games’ conclusion on August 12. Following a clean-up of the River Lea and canals that pass through the site, wildlife is being encouraged to return to wetlands downstream. Some 300,000 wetland plants have been planted, as well as more than 4,000 trees and 130,000 plants and bulbs in 250 acres of regenerated parkland.” Source
At the same time, the Olympic ‘brand police’ have been busily making the rounds, doing their best to protect the branding rights that the IOC sells to ‘official sponsors’. It pretty much precludes any business displaying five Olympic rings on anything, unless you’ve paid for the right to do so. If a grandmother who knitted a doll’s sweater with rings on it can be ordered to withdraw the offending item from a church charity sale, perhaps it’s not surprising that flower arrangements, bagels, sausages, and baguettes made to resemble Olympic rings or torches are forbidden also.
Good luck to our Canadian women’s soccer team, who kick things off against World Cup champion Japan tomorrow at 9 a.m. Pacific Time! Let the Games begin!