So how far do you want to go? What’s your preferred mode of outrage? Hands up here, I’m not giving up Diet Coke ™ – it’s only the caffeine in the 243 cans I’ve drunk so far this morning which is keeping me going. Also some of the companies who are sponsors are US centric so the impact from the UK and other coutries will be negligible. Also I am not going to not watch the Olympics. I am too excited about the event to let a small-minded US bureaucrat to put me off. I will however, knit constantly and throughout the Olympics and will always remember those projects completed whilst watching an obscure class in weight-lifting or some other sport which piques my interest once every four years.
I also need to make this clear, it’s the US Olympic committee which has started the action. Not LOCOG (although there is another
rant story there).
In these days of social media it is easy to
annoy people get your point across.
If you are on Twitter then keep #ravelympics trending and make your feelings felt to @USOlympic.
You can donate to Ravelry. Casey has stated that they are not going to waste money fighting the case, and I agree with changing the name in order to shut up the bureaucrats. But rav will still have some legal costs to bear and it never hurts to swell their coffers. You can donate to ravelry here.
You can also write a letter like I did and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Office of the General Counsel
United States Olympic Committee
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
This is what I have written to him:
Dear Mr Hirsh
I have read your letter to Mr Forbes at Ravelry.com. I understand your issue with the term “Ravelympics” abusing your trademarks. In all honesty, you are not trying to uphold the ideals of the Olympic spirit, but are trying to protect commercial interests of both yourselves and your sponsors. In protecting your sponsors’ efforts, you have in turn offended 2,000,000 members of ravelry. A powerful group who when piqued have proven time and again, their ability to organize and lobby in the name of causes they feel are just and deserving. You cannot have failed to notice the amount of activity on social networks over the last 12 hours concerning @USOlympic and #ravelympics. I hope your letter was approved prior to sending it, as otherwise I guess you might have some explaining to do to your bosses.
I think you could have perhaps chosen your words more carefully. In accusing knitters and crafters of denigrating the efforts of the athletes, you in turn denigrate us and our efforts. The Ravelympics exists to celebrate the Olympic Games, not to ridicule it. Teams put in thought, creativity, skill and in many cases a great deal of zeal and competitive effort.
Knitters like bad puns, that’s really the only “crime” committed here. So the titles of the categories are a bit silly. That in no way is indicative of the spirit of teams involved in Ravelympics. From your letter, it is obvious you have a Ravelry account so you can easily take a look at some of the past glories and by surfing the forum boards you will be able to gauge (sorry knitterly pun there) the level of committed and respectful involvement of these people.
We do not compare ourselves to the athletes competing, we are hobbyists but we take what we do seriously, and more importantly, we do it very well and I would say that the knitting and crafting community, as exemplified by Ravelry does indeed uphold the ideals of the Olympics.
We would like an apology, an open letter to Ravelry would do. I would even be happy to knit something for you so you can see the beauty and craftmanship in something handmade.
If knitters and crafters are denigrating the Olympic movement, can you tell me what a group of people sitting at home watching the Games on the TV, whilst drinking beer and eating junk food does for the Olympic spirit, or is that acceptable if they are drinking Coke ™ and Bud ™, eating McDonalds ™.
My advice, don’t judge what you don’t know.
Saffron Walden, England.