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The IOC's 'Clean Venue' Policy 549

Posted by michael
from the consume dept.
Dave21212 writes "Yes folks, the International Olympic Committee's 'Brand Protection Team' will be protecting against the threat of Advertising Terrorism at the games. According to an MSNBC article, the IOC's Karen Webb states 'Our role is to protect all of our sponsor categories and actively monitor ambush activity.' Restricted items include, flags, umbrellas, shirts, hats, and bags with trademarks of rival sponsors. Unofficial brands can be confiscated and with only Coke allowed on Olympic grounds, this brings new meaning to The Pepsi Challenge!"
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The IOC's 'Clean Venue' Policy

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  • by o0zi (652605) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:17PM (#10037936) Homepage
    Did anyone besides me notice that all the gymnasts who had their own bottles with them had had the labels taken off? It seems a little overkill for "advertising terrorism"...
  • Frightening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:18PM (#10037943) Homepage
    So, I didn't RTFA of course, but from the story blurb it makes it sound like if you wear something like an Adidas shirt for example, and Nike is a sponsor and Adidas is not, they will confiscate it. Frankly, I would flat out refuse. This is so ridiculous and is a perfect example of where our culture is going.

    Now, fast forward 10 years and imagine that SWAT-like team practicing on the stadium, but instead of looking for actual terrorist threats, they're looking for banned advertising. Think I'm joking? Well, just accellerate current corporate greed and how much power corporations wield, and I think I'm pretty close to the truth.

  • by FyRE666 (263011) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:18PM (#10037944) Homepage
    Is anyone else deliberately NOT watcing the Olympics in light of this corporate assholery? I'm in the UK, where we're not being censored, but I'm not going to encourage the corporate ad campaign that's masquerading as a sports event by tuning in.

    The funny thing is, that previous stories posted here about China's restrictions, firewalling off any sites promoting freedom of speech etc have evoked harsh criticism of the regime. This is no different though, except the control isn't in the hands of a political party, but a few greedy corporations.

    I can't believe that after charging people to come and watch the games, they're now telling them what to eat, drink, wear and think while there. I'd ask for my money back; no actually I'd ask for payment for them employing me as some fucking walking advert.

    No wonder attendance is only just hovering above 50% this year, even though it's in Athens. Seems like people don't like "controlled fun"... Funny that...
  • by keiferb (267153) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:19PM (#10037948) Homepage
    What I didn't get from the article is whether or not this applies only to employees/volunteers or if it extends to the spectators, as well. If I show up with a vintage 1986 Spuds MacKenzie t-shirt and the official beer of the games is Rolling Rock, do I get tossed? Subjected to "additional security measures"? Or do they just not care?

    If the latter, could someone loosen my tin foil a bit?
  • by Mr. Neutron (3115) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037952) Homepage Journal
    advertising fascism?

    To their credit, they are hardly the first governing body to respond to the spectre of terrorism with a crackdown on civil liberties ;-).
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037958) Homepage Journal
    This insanity needs to be stopped.

    First they spend 1.5 Billion to invasively spy on EVERYONE there...

    Then athletes cant talk about the games, or take pictures.. For fear of not getting their take of the revenue..

    Now fans cant even choose what food they eat, unless its a 'sponsored' product?

    The entire Olympic games have become a commercialized farce, and needs to be disbanded.

    Its a mockery of what it should be about: athletes competing for the title of 'best'. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • by christurkel (520220) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:23PM (#10037981) Homepage Journal
    The corporations the the big networks have sucked all the joy of the Olympics. I can't watch them. Its like an informercial with breaks for sporting invites; its insane and out of control.

    The costs of putting on the Olympics have increased so much that only the largest cities can afford to host them then only with massive corporate sponsorship. Disgusting and sad.
  • by MikeXpop (614167) <mike@re d c r o w b a r .com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:23PM (#10037984) Journal
    That happens everywhere, and I mean _everywhere_.

    A few years back I used to watch professional wrestling, and there was a wrestler named Triple H. Anyway, when he came on stage, he would take a swig of water and spray it in the air. The water bottle always had its label taken off. Anyway, one time he came out with a labelled water bottle. It was in New York, and green, so I instantly recognized it as Poland Springs. However when they zoomed in on him, the bottle was blurred. I thought that was kind of funny.

    I guess they didn't want to be accused of supporting one water company over another or something. But this doesn't just happen in the Olympics.
  • My Fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruha (412869) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:25PM (#10037997) Homepage Journal
    Is that this may spread to other venues, cant wear a metallica tshirt to ozzfest.

    Cant attend a sporting event with the same rules even going as far as saying you cant wear a hockey jersey to football game.

    How long will it be until a corporation begins to fund roads or parks and have security banning other advertisers.

    It's bad enough I cant watch the superior coverage of the olympics legaly here in the USA due to similar contracts. Though I wonder how the advertisers would feel if people began to boycot them becuase one tv station banned them from consumer choice of BBC's olympics vs MicroSoft NBC Olympics.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:31PM (#10038029)
    They are just creating a set of rules so they can kick out the people who are doing guerilla marketing. They are not targetting random people who happen to wear a Nike t-shirt. I went to multiple Olympic events, I was carrying my Sony camcorder and wearing Nikes. My friend had a shirt with a huge Nike swoosh on it--not a hint of a problem. Sure, you can't bring your food in, but that's the same in any sports event or concert. Frankly, with Coke at 1Euro and bottled water at 0.50c in the stadium, I didn't miss the Pepsi or the "freedom" to bring my own.

    Volunteers are a (slightly) different story. But they are in official uniform anyway, so it's more a matter of covering the "Sony" logo on their cameras and stuff.
  • How does this.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:33PM (#10038040)
    ...affect my rights online?

    Am I missing something?
  • by mqx (792882) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:35PM (#10038047)

    2000: Qantas Airlines' slogan "Spirit of Australia" coincidentally sounds like games slogan "Share the spirit" to chagrin of official sponsor Ansett Air

    Anyone who has lived in Australia can tell you that Qantas has used "Spirit of Australia" as an advertising slogan for at least 20 years or more. Not only that, but Qantas is one of those "grand old lady" organisations who don't stoop to any type of advertising/marketing "tricks". The reporter has actually made a mistake with this choice of example, because if anything, it would be Ansett with the wrongdoing here.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxtelephony (141049) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:43PM (#10038093) Homepage
    I lived in Atlanta in 1992, 4 years before the 1996 Olympics there. The IOC was going around nailing anybody with ANYTHING remotely like "Olympic" in their company name or product. One example, Olympian Pools, or something like that.

    That, combined with all of the corruption (remember the fall out from Utah and Japan not too long ago), and the flat-out censorship of participants (athletes are not able to keep blogs, and somewhere I think they were restricted from writing their personal experiences even after the games, if the IOC doesn't get its cut), not to mention the many other layers of crap reported earlier here on /., are all reasons why I don't even bother tuning in.

    I stopped watching, paying attention, or even caring about the Olympics after I saw what they did in Atlanta.

    Judging by the dismal ticket sales, perhaps this is a growing trend.
  • by Texas Rose on Lava L (712928) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:51PM (#10038145) Homepage Journal
    It could happen in 2008 in Beijing, if China feels like doing things that way. A few years ago there was talk about the IOC not wanting the USA to host the Olympics as much because they relied too much on corporate sponsorship whenever they were held in the US. They wanted the host nation government to pay more of the expenses rather than have advertising on every available surface. Since China doesn't care about making money nearly as much as they care about showing off to the world, they could put on the Games with little or no sponsorship if they thought is was to their advantage to do so (i.e. if they thought it would impress the IOC). As it is, there's a global concrete shortage which is being caused, in part, by the construction of Olympic venues in China.

    In the USA? Forget it. Rightly or wrongly, everything here is about making money, and we tend to judge success/failure of the Olympics based on whether they made money. In fact, Peter Ueberroth ran for governor of California last year based on his record of having made the 1984 Olympics profitable.

    Personally, I'd like to see the TV contracts handled differently. The IOC should impose limits on how many commercials the networks can show. Maybe even sell the rights for a fixed amount of money, and have the networks bid based on how few commercials they're willing to air -- lowest bidder wins.
  • by tonywong (96839) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:51PM (#10038149) Homepage
    If I was pepsi, I'd hire people in plain coloured shirts of the pepsi corporate colours (red white and blue) and get them to sit in the bleachers to form the pepsi symbol. Given that ticket sales have been abysmal, this could be done fairly impromptu.
  • by irf (785296) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:01PM (#10038196)
    maybe it's high time that the Olympics should be dumped. it has lost all it's meaning, it's all about blood sucking these days. the athletes and the public are the ones whose blood is been sucked. over the years my interest in this event is dwindling, to the point where i do not have the stomach to watch any of the events in the current one. is there an Olympic? well i couldn't care less. sorry if any one was offended.
  • by torpor (458) <jayv@s y n t h.net> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:08PM (#10038231) Homepage Journal
    Does your wife pay for the Olympics? Probably not.

    Thus, Coke makes the Olympics happen.

  • by avel599 (413285) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:13PM (#10038258)
    This is nothing new to us Greeks who watch the whole thing closely here in Athens.

    Friends of mine who work at Olympic-related services are not allowed to bring to work a bag of food that has the name of a rival company of McDonalds. They are instructed by security officers to use simple white bags without these logos!

    People who go at the games are not allowed to bring cell phones or coins with them, for the sake of "safety". Also they are not allowed to wear something that bears a trademark of a company that is a competitor to the official sponsors.

    All the non-olympic-sponsors ads at the Metro have been taken off. Similarly for ads on important roads and avenues, especially the ones where there are venues such as the Marathon and the street cycling.

    Yes, it's crazy alright, together with the whole story about the linking policy to the Athens 2004 Web site which was mentioned in a previous story, which reminded me of something that happened sometime a year ago. Some kids in an hi-school made a web site about the Olympics. Their mistake? They used the official "Athens 2004(TM)" logo, which the Organizing Committee had said that they will "defend" it at all costs. Well, they took those kids' web site down, because of unauthorized trademark use.

    "Olympic Spirit...

    However, let me add that the atmosphere here in Athens is FWIW pretty damn good. Even though most of the people are on vacation, as it happens in every August in this city, (and because of that the traffic is very light and it takes me 15' - 20' to get to work instead of the ususal 30'-45'), the happenings in every corner of the city, the visitors of every nation and culture, and the games themselves give the city a very nice atmosphere. Together with all the road works and all that have finally finished, it feels like a much better and humane city... even though we are going to pay for it for a lot of years to come... :-|
  • by randyest (589159) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:14PM (#10038267) Homepage
    Only if what the "Olympics" has become (a big marketing festival of spectacles with expensive fireworks displays and opening shows replete with robotic gods and godesses) is really the Olympics.

    My point is I don't think the current "Olympics" is really the Olympics. I'd be happier with a much cheaper implementation. You know. Like in the old days.
  • by jsebrech (525647) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:25PM (#10038315)
    From TFA: We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen.

    Silly me. I thought it was the that made the Olympics happen.


    If a form or venue of advertising bothers you, just boycott the advertised product. It's only because advertising at the olympics leads to a huge leap in sales that companies do something like that. Take away the leap, and you'll take away the advertising.
  • by wired_parrot (768394) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:26PM (#10038318)

    Well, if you're stupid enough to pay to be a walking billboard for a corporation I say let 'em confiscate your expensive $150 corporate logo shirt. The confiscated shirts, hats, shoes and other floating billboard paraphernalia could be donated to the underpaid sweatshop workers who made them for a few cents an hour.

    But I think they should apply the policy equally: confiscate walking-billboard clothing from official sponsors as well. I'm sure if they keep up this policy for future olympics, spectators will be abandoning branded clothing very quickly

  • by foobsr (693224) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:41PM (#10038392) Homepage Journal
    They did not say a word about using the plural.

    1. What are the Olympic trademarks?

    The Olympic trademarks protected by statute (36 U.S.C. 220506(c)) include: the name "UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE"; the symbol of the International Olympic Committee, consisting of five interlocking rings; the words "Olympic, " "Olympiad" and "Citius Altius Fortius," and also the words "Paralympic," "Paralympiad," "Pan-American" and "America Espirito Sport Fraternite," or any combination of these words; the emblem of the United States Olympic Committee, consisting of an escutcheon having a blue chief and vertically extending red and white bars on the base with five interlocking rings displayed on the chief; and the symbols of the International Paralympic Committee and the Pan-American Sports Organization, consisting of a torch surrounded by concentric rings.

    loc. cit. [inta.org]

    And later on, they even grant permission ...

    4. Are there exceptions to these rights?
    The word Olympic may be used, without sanction, to identify a business or goods or services if:
    1. such use is not combined with any of the Olympic trademarks

    Pepsi obviously is not an Olympic trademark :)

    CC.
  • Re:Name game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whovian (107062) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:53PM (#10038455)
    I wonder how Olympic Paints [ppg.com] gets away with it.
  • by Dashing Leech (688077) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:00PM (#10038483)
    Thus, Coke makes the Olympics happen.

    Actually, it's a lot of sources beyond sponsors. The TV networks pay bigtime for it, the host government pays pleanty (and gets big economic returns), and the visitors pay bigtime as well. It's a shame that this still isn't enough and it requires sponsorship and advertisement.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:02PM (#10038492) Homepage Journal
    s'OK. A little googling brings up a good reference [home.wxs.nl].
  • by mod_critical (699118) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:07PM (#10038512)
    In high school I swam on the men's swim team. Yeah not really a crowd puller. But we had to black out the SPEEDO on our goggle straps at meets. The officials all enforced it too. If they saw a logo you were DQed right there on the starting blocks. Given that for every meet except for state champs the only people watching were parents and girl-friends, and yet they enforced this, it dosen't surprise me that the olympics manages to take it just as seriously. (But I still find it rediculous)
  • by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:17PM (#10038561)
    I remember just a short time ago (early 90's, I believe) MTV was running a "fight censorship" campaign. I always wondered what the hell they were fighting since they have always been the single biggest purveyor of censorship for music. If a song is too long, shorten it. If anything can offend any minority group (especially gays), cut it. If there's any corporate label or anything resembling profanity, remove it. The only exception is for sex; anything short of full nudity is allowed. Anything promoting homosexuality, no matter how graphic, is allowed. I guess it wasn't really censorship MTV was fighting, but more like they were pushing for a type of censorship that allows them to promote a certain agenda. That being said, I think MTV in the U.S. has become almost irrelevant to the music scene. They almost never even play music or music related shows anymore, and I don't know anyone who watches them.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:31PM (#10038644)
    will want to attend these types of events with t-shirts bearing only one letter, and arrange themselves linearly according to whatever they want to say.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bstone (145356) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:41PM (#10038700)
    COSTCO only accepts American Express. Does that make me complain and get an AE card?

    Actually, now that you're bringing up silly things like that, I DO react to those anti-competitive deals too.

    Costco used to be a place where I shopped regularly. I actually got a Discover card when THAT was all they would accept. When they changed to American Express and quit takiing Discover, I cancelled the Discover card and stopped shopping at Costco.

    Same with Shell Oil. I've been a customer since 1967, and had one of their cards. They dropped their credit cards and came out with the "Chase Manhatten Shell Card". I got one of those for the gas discounts, and then a few years later, they went to the "Citibank Shell Card". I no longer have a Shell card, and Chase Manhatten extended their discounts to all gas purchases. I'm now a happy "Rotten Robbie" gas customer with a nice discount whenever I use my Chase Manhatten MasterCard.
  • Large crowds? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:42PM (#10038707) Homepage
    Maybe all the stadiums are empty because all the spectators were turned away for wearing Polo(TM) shirts?

    I mean, really. As a more-or-less private entity, the IOC cand do whatever it wants in terms of allowing people into venues, etc. But they have turned the whole spectacle into little more than a giant advertising venue, and that has made me lose interest in the whole deal. I saw it really start to go wrong back with the flap over whether some of the original US Dream Team could wear Reebok clothes (who sponsored those athletes) or would be forced to wear Nike jumpsuits (who sponsored the Olympics). The more the IOC does this, the fewer people will be willing to turn out and attend.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DrEldarion (114072) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:52PM (#10038778)
    There's a P&P RPG called Shadowrun (which is an incredible game). In Shadowrun's timeline, in the year 2001, the Shiawase decision came about.

    "Megacorporations had begun to evolve in the 1980s and '90s, when merger fever had everyone from banks to defense contractors glomming together like so much gunk on a bathroom tile. But the first real nails in the coffin of the old world were the Seretech and Shiawase decisions. The first one upheld Seretech Corporation's right to maintain an armed force for the protection of it's personnel and property, effectively legitimizing private corp armies. The second had even worse consequences; it established corporate extraterritoriality, giving multinational corporations the same rights and priviliges as foreign governments."
  • by Kaiwen (123401) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:45PM (#10039007) Journal
    The IOC doesn't restrict its censorship to corporate interests -- it also meddles in the political sphere. Amidst all the flag-waving you see going on -- US flags, Russian flags, Greek flags, Chinese flags, flags from every country with representatives in the games -- there is one flag you WON'T see -- Taiwan's. Why? Because it makes Beijing unhappy. At the Atlanta games -- smack in the middle of the "Land of the Free" -- three friends of mine were removed for displaying a Taiwanese flag at an event in which Taiwanese athletes were competing. This year, while watching, for example, the archery competition (the only event in which Taiwan medaled), Taiwanese spectators were waving IOC-issued flags to replace the Taiwanese flags they had brought. The IOC is not merely a corporate puppet -- it's a political lackey as well. Lee Kaiwen, Taiwan
  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:50PM (#10039030)
    There are 28 categories of events ranging from gymnastics to sailing (you know that sport with boats.)

    So it's 28 glorified track meets.

    There are over 202 nations sending 10,500 athletes to compete.

    Average of 375 athletes per glorified track meet. No bigger deal than a lot of high school state finals.

    The event is televised world-wide whereas most high-school track meets only make a blurb in the local paper.

    The networks make their own money selling ads. It doesn't cost the Olympics anything to do the broadcasting.

    Your nation's prestige doesn't revolve around whether State Finals come off without a hitch.

    So what? The vast majority of state finals go off without either a hitch or hundreds of $millions of corporate funding.

    Bottom line: It's just some games. The majority of the events use equipment you could find in many high schools. It doesn't need to be so bloated. The only reason it is so bloated is because people expect it to be bloated. It's a self-perpetuating hype machine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @04:12PM (#10039156)
    [...] and a city getting cash to build a large infrastructure around the games that they can enjoy long after [...]

    Huh?? Prove that claim, please! I was under the impression that neither the participating (advertising) companies nor the IOC paid the hosting cities/countries a dime. I.e. that they have to pay for everything. With that country's tax money. All of it! (Of course the city/country can get investors, but which company would willingly sponsor giant stadiums, though for what(?))

    I thought the whole deal with the competition between the cities to get picked for the next olympics, was in showing the IOC how much the city/country WAS WILLING TO INVEST THEMSELVES to get the games to their town!

    Otherwise, why the competition?!

    And enjoying the infrastructure. Sure, a bicycle velodrom at $10 Million a pop is a bargain! ...for all the country's 200 hundred practitioners (ok, so maybe they killed that discipline a few years back - exactly for that reason). Or the massive, over-kill housing complexes that will stand all but abandoned six months after the games (check a few earlier hosts - how much of their 'infrastructure' is actually needed and benefitial, rather than a nightmare in maintanence costs).

    Basically, I thought the 'only' (they obviously can be substantial) benefits for the hosts were given, was
    a) the honor of hosting the largest athletic competition in the world, which (hopefully) creates
    b) a massive influx of tourists with money to spend on the local economy (such as it is, after Coke & Co. have all set up shop).

    So if/when the number of tourists don't live up to the expectation of the hosts: multi-million (in dollars) losses for the host.

    Someone correct me, am I wrong? Do IOC really pay for the stadiums, housing, roads, etc.? Any pointers?

  • by the_weasel (323320) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @05:36PM (#10039534) Homepage
    We did something similar. This was about 15 years ago in Northern Ontario. During a heat wave, myself and several of the other male students came to school wearing shorts. This was strictly against dress code - but the temperature was 32 celsuis at 9:00 am and the school had no A/C. I was damned if I was going to wear long pants to class in that weather.

    The bunch of use got sent home on a 1 day suspension 30 minutes after we arrived in homeroom. We were told not to even bother trying to come back in shorts.

    The group of us got together that evening to discuss our options. We had requested hard copy of the dress code, and examined it closely. That's when we realized. The exact line was "Skirts and dresses are permitted provided they do not rise higher than 1" above the knee, and that they are not revealing in an unsatisfactory manner.

    There was nothing in the dress code that said we couldn't wear a dress. It didn't even specify women.

    So we came back in dresses, and skirts. On day 1 there were 7 of us, and every single last one of us were sent home again, this time with a 3 day suspension.

    We showed up the next day anyway, to protest from the sidewalk, and it turned out that we were not alone. Another 15 students wore dresses or skirts. Maybe another 5 wore kilts.

    Over the next week it grew from there - we were not allowed on school property - but as the police informed the principal, since we already suspended, we were not truant, and therefore there was no law that could prevent us from protesting from the sidewalk if our parents didn't object.

    They most certainly didn't.

    The media didn't take long to get thier hands on the story of 100+ male students in dresses protesting outside a major downtown highschool. The third day was a circus - CBC, MCTV and all the local papers had shown up to cover the protest.

    It still took the principal and school board almost a week and half to capitulate. At this point students from other schools had taken to wearing dresses as a sign of support, parents were writing letters by the dozens (for and against) to the school board, and our numbers had swollen to more than 200 men, plus a few girls who wore shorts to get themselves expelled as well.

    It was one of the most effective forms of protest I have ever been involved in. It worked because we used a spectacle to obtain attention (men in dresses) - because we were non-violent and polite, and because we were able to highlight a particularily absurd aspect of the dress code.

    Just a story I thought I would share.
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @06:34PM (#10039774) Journal
    You're right.

    God knows there was no Olympics before there was capitalism.
  • by kilrogg (119108) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @08:54PM (#10040615) Homepage
    Your argument is extremely weak. In Canada we have provinces and sometimes you'll see some of our provincial flags being waved around a Olympic events. I would be quite offended if the IOC forcibly removed someone for displaying one of our provincial flags. Why should it be any different for someone from a pseudo-country like Taiwan? If Kaiwen is right about this policy, then this is indeed quite disturbing behaviour by the IOC.
  • by CyberKnet (184349) <<slashdot> <at> <cyberknet.net>> on Monday August 23, 2004 @11:10AM (#10044929) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, this is too true. I noticed this especially with the womens athletics. The announcers and commentators are too hung up on what they think these athletes owe their country to notice that these defeats were crushing those girls. The interviewers would purposefully stake out the one girl on a team that messed up worst and ask "So how did it feel to make mistakes XYZ and possibly cost your team a medal?".

    I think the poor girl handled the situation admirably and has done her country more than proud. In one defeat she has contributed more to her country than that damned announcer will ever contribute. By even trying she has contributed more than I ever will.

    The commentators and announcers need to have more respect for the athletes involved. A person does not get sent to the olympics just because they were the only one who tried out... for some it is a once in a life time opportunity, and a lifelong dream. I cannot fathom how it would feel to have a dream so far within reach and then absolutely shattered. Not even nearly.
  • by macdaddy (38372) on Monday August 23, 2004 @01:22PM (#10046730) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it is disgusting. I almost long for the days when the Olympic commentator was dry, almost lethargic. Let the retired Olympic pros be the entertaining and lively folks. They are the ones most likely to get excited by a steller performance of an event they used to compete in anyhow. The commentator should stick to the dry facts IMHO.

    I think NBC is trying to attract the American populous that doesn't normally watch the Olympics by using the everyday sports announcers that they're familiar with. I'm surprised they don't have John Madden (a nice guy by all respects) commentating on the Men's 3m Synchronized Springboard competition, pointing out mistakes and predicting plays with his whiteboard like he does football games. It really is sad to see such an event brought to these all-time unprofessional lows.

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