Sunday, 22 July 2012

Beware of Olympic Spirit Snatchers

My Proposed Outfit for the Olympics

On Friday night I watched the BBC’s ‘Olympics Most Amazing Moments’.
It included moments of victory and agony and it succeeded in getting me excited about the Games where the propaganda has failed.
An advert telling me to ‘BE EXCITED!’ doesn’t work. You’ve got to be moved and watching Derek Redgrave being helped to the finish line by his father or Kerri Strug land a vault with a sprained ankle so she wouldn’t let her team down, well, that passion can tug at your heart strings.
Watching the programme made me think of Sport’s Days in my school. I remember when I was little being determined to prepare for it.
Our garden had a small patio space sheltered by an overgrown jasmine and a line of paving stones marking a path to the back door. I took my skipping rope and began to skip. But alas every loop got  tangled in the jasmine bush so I soon gave up.
I was good at running but hopeless at the sports that required strength. It dawned on me then that I needed to practice shot put. So I picked up a rock from the garden and stood on the patio steps by the back door. I pressed it against my neck and I lunged it across the garden.
The rock landed smack bang in the middle of one of the paving stones and cracked it into  pieces.
Shocked, I went inside the house, locked the door and never practised for Sport’s Day again.
I’m capable of getting excited about the Olympics. I’m also capable of getting very angry about the brand protection officials who are killing the spirit of the event and penalising small business for showing any initiative.
I’m talking about a florist who was threatened with a £20,000 fine for displaying Olympics Rings made of tissue paper. An 81 year old woman who was told to withdraw her £1.00 hand-knitted Olympic Doll’s outfit from a Church charity fundraising sale and ‘Cafe Olympic’ in Stratford having to change its name, to quote just a few.  
Coca-Cola, Cadbury’s and MacDonalds - Ring any bells?
These are three of the poor, struggling sponsors threatened by so-called ‘brand confusion’.
Feel free to take a moment to laugh at the ridiculousness of fizzy drinks, chocolate and junk food companies supporting a sporting event. I hate to break it to them, but world champions don't succeed by eating their products.
I accept that for investing millions it is fair that only their products be sold at the stadium. But this nasty, over-zealous policing is a disgrace to local inhabitants
Frankly, it’s put me off the brands in question. If I had managed to get tickets for the Olympics I would head to the stadium munching on some Divine chocolate and wearing a Pepsi t-shirt and a hat with the yellow arches in a prohibition circle.
And if they dared tell me to remove my shirt or unwrap my chocolate bar, I would know that England isn’t the free, democratic country it’s made out to be.
The Olympics is about celebrating the incredible efforts of individuals as team athletes.
It’s great that these huge companies want to support the Games but please get them off the podium.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always wondered how that paving stone broke. It was one of the great unsolved mysteries!

ShopGirl's Mother

Lindsay said...

Great post, even if you're not a great shot-putter! Stick to writing and when there's an Olympic event for writing we'll look forward to seeing you strut your stuff.

Shop Girl said...

Thanks Lindsay! I think the writing Olympics involves throwing your manuscript at agents/publishers and seeing if they'll catch it!

Fingers crossed! I'd love a gold medal ;)

John O'Hara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie said...

Very true Emily, Yesterday I went to see the Olympic torch being carried through Finchley and I have to say I was thoroughly disappointed. The parade consisted of four large vehicles, all with chocolate, fast food and drink plastered all over them plus a tiny girl with a torch. The Olympic event for writing, now there's idea....

Shop Girl said...

Well there were no junk food floats at Old Kent road, just lots of police vans! Typical Saaaaaaf Landin - watching out in case someone tries to nick it!

I caught a glimpse of the torch though & feel quite excited now!