Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Passionate Knitters Force Olympics Apology: "we would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community..."

In case you hadn't heard, the US Olympic Committee came down hard on knitting site Ravelry's "Ravelympics," threatening a lawsuit and in general throwing their weight around.
We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
They didn't expect the public outcry that resulted. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say, they didn't know how many passionate knitters and spinners would take their displeasure straight to the USOC. The USOC is maintaining their right to the Olympic name, however, they are being conciliatory.
As a follow-up to our previous statement on this subject, we would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community. While we stand by our obligation to protect the marks and terms associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the United States, we sincerely regret the use of insensitive terms in relation to the actions of a group that was clearly not intending to denigrate or disrespect the Olympic Movement. We hope you’ll accept this apology and continue to support the Olympic Games. ...
Mason-Dixon Knitting haven't taken this lying down and before the apology, they began their own offensive ... the knitterly way, using hand knit socks as incentive for Stephen Colbert to publicize the battle.
The whole thing reminded me of one of Stephen Colbert's "PEOPLE WHO ARE DESTROYING AMERICA" segments. You know, where he exposes the deep damage done to the social fabric and the Values We Hold Dear that is being done by, say, a lady who wants to air-dry her laundry to save energy, in a community that has a strict rule against clotheslines.

Stephen Colbert needs to expose this travesty! He needs to protect the pure and noble Olympics from tarnishment by association with millions of handknitters watching the games this summer.

In an optimistic but not too strenuous effort to make this happen, I tweeted Mr. Colbert. (He is @StephenAtHome on Twitter.) I went so far as to promise him that if he did a piece on the Knitters Who Are Destroying the Olympics, there would be a little something in it for him: a lifetime supply of handknit socks.
Of course, there are now 573 knitters in the Socks for Stephen Ravelry group knitting as fast as they can. I see that the apology did nothing to slow the knitting down. See, when these knitters begin a project, they do not stop until they are done.

This is much more amusing than watching the actual Olympics. When I read the original USOC complaint letter my first reaction was that the Olympics are not what they used to be back before they began allowing professional athletes to compete against the amateur ones. After that happened I lost most of my interest in the Olympics.

So for the USOC to complain about a lot of enthusiastic people organizing their days and evenings so they could knit along with the Olympics ... it just showed they don't get it. At all.

1 comment:

  1. I don't knit, but this completely made my day ^_^ As did the Avenger's quote on the sidebar, thank you!