The O[deleted] G[deleted]s Begin!

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Hooray! The London 2012 Olympic Games formally open today! Although of course some athletes have already been in action even from Wednesday, mainly the football players.

Let me repeat, though, that this blog is generally not interested, certainly not in the athletics. Attention is more likely to be attracted here by catchy and notable Olympic-related headlines – All of London sells itself to sponsors, is a good example.

That’s the title of the kick-off report for a series that the German journalist Imke Henkel (a female, FYI; her winsome smile you can inspect at the article’s very top if you click through) is undertaking for the German newsmagazine Focus, by heading to London to write an “Olympic Diary.” This first installment is all about the sponsorship madness that seems to have descended upon the city.

Or perhaps even – although naturally the term is grossly over-used – the sponsorship fascism. You might have already heard about that Cafe Olympic – located within sight of the new Olympic Stadium, actually – that has been forced to rename itself “Cafe Lympic” for the duration of the Games. That ain’t the half of it, though; Henkel actually provides a list of words that businesses are henceforth (through 12 August) not allowed to display, which go beyond any variation of the word “Olympic” to include “Summer,” “2012,” and of course “Gold,” “Silver” and “Bronze.” Lilagekleidete Aufpasser – translates as “Purple-clad monitors” – are even now roaming the streets, in London but also all over the UK, ensuring that any violations are reported for prompt sanction by LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. (more…)

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