The Drunken Yarn

    So this is a letter written by the USOC to the “Redneck Olympics” apparently insulting people is just part of their form letter. Who knew?

    The USOC has submitted the following apology on their Facebook Page:

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.

and I for one, feel that this is a much better apology than previous, but I’m still not sending them anything.

     So the US Olympic Committee (USOC) Public Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky (what an unfortunate last name to have in this circumstance…) has issued an apology for the cease and desist written to the Ravelry group “Ravelympics 2012”. He states it was a “standard form cease and desist letter” and to show the Olympics support of the Ravelry community they would accept any handmade items to motivate the athletes.

     Since when does a “standard cease and desist” tell the offenders that by using their artistic talents they are “denigrating” others’ physical talents? And since when is it a good plan to insult a large group of people, rile them so much you have to submit a public apology, and then in your apology ask for free shit from the people you insulted? Since when does the USOC hire someone (cough, Brett Hirsch, the author of the cease and desist) to make a fake Ravelry account so they can search the patterns to find any violating Olympic copyright and ask them to be removed?

     So I’m supposed to feel totally cool about my skills being insulted, send you my Olympic themed handiwork to motivate people whose skills are apparently more important and far less insulting than mine, and then not show my friends on Ravelry what I’ve made because that infringes your copyright?

     (Does anyone else feel slightly more pissed that this copyright business was all started because the USOC didn’t want to be associated with the Gay Olympics now known as the Gay Games which was founded by Dr. Tom Waddell, a former Olympic physician? It’s not anything negative either, it’s just a sports contest organized by and for homosexuals.)

     The Ravelympics was supposed to be a friendly worldwide competition highlighting artistic talent and speed through fibercrafts and the fact that it was ever construed as denigrating to the efforts of the competing athletes is insulting and frankly denigrating on the part of the USOC.

Knitters Outraged After U.S. Olympic Committee Squashes Knitting Olympics—and Disses Knitters

     According to the U.S. Olympic Committee, who has apparently never heard the phrase imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ravelry is insulting and infringing the Olympic games by hosting the Ravelympics. Even going so far as to point out patterns made by Ravelers that infringe upon the Olympic name or logo and asking them to change the pattern or remove it entirely from the site. This is one of many ridiculous things surrounding the Olympic games having to do with crafts. Earlier the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) reneged on their previous offer to allow 5,000 cushions made by hand by elderly, handicapped and families to be handed out to Olympic athletes as they may aggravate sponsors and as such will now not be allowed to be handed out.

     I can understand copyright infringement. What I can’t understand is that the note written to Ravelry founders stated that the Ravelympics is “disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.” The Olympic committee believes that an afghan marathon, scarf hockey, and a sweater triathlon are “denigrading.” They obviously left out the charity rowing event where you knit an item to be given away (which as any knitter knows is near impossible, I’m not the only one in the selfish knitters Ravelry group!) so that we crafters would still appear the villain of the piece. (full list of Ravelympic Events here.)

    So if you’d like to give them a what for the snail mail way, you can contact the yellow bellied cushion haters at this address:

Head Office
London 2012
One Churchill Place
Canary Wharf
London E14 5LN

or email them at the bottom of the page here.

     To give the US Olympic committee a big knit one purl two snail mail style for insulting 1.3 knitting United Statesians send it where I creepily just found out is five miles from my house:

United States Olympic Committee
27 South Tejon
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

or email or call them here.