Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knitters Scorned

Similar to the Nerd Wars knitting competition, the much anticipated Ravelympics have been fast approaching. As the name would allude, this competition happens in conjunction with the Olympics starting during the opening ceremonies and ending during the closing ceremony. The popularity of this competition has grown over the years. This year was/is to be my first year competing.
Anyway, Ravelry recently received a letter from a Law Clerk of the Office of the General Counsel of the United States Olympic Committee. To sum it up the letter told them that they have to get rid of Ravelympic because "lympic" suggests connection to Olympic and they own Olympic. Fine, fine, if you want to get knit-picky I thought the Greeks owned that. BUT THEN  dude says:
"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."
That is a far cry from the nature of the beast, and carries a bit of sting. 
Sting it did. It stung a whole group of social media knitters everywhere. Twitter, blogs and forums were and are full of the buzz in regard to this "sting." Didn't know how many knitters there were out there, didja?

There's an article on NPR Sports and Val's Husband (hehe Val has a husband!) Matt sent me a link from Yahoo Sports.

Then a semi apology statement was made saying: 

We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Which was received by many knitters as, "Yah, yah, sorry we made you mad send us your money and your time."

Here's the other zinger. The Ravelympics is an international affair! We've got knitters from all over the world! The "our team" in the semi apology isn't all of "our teams." This is international relations folks.

Then they issued another apology statement and by now the fiber artists of the world have their feathers thoroughly ruffled. 

My stand: Ravelympics sounded like a fun way to take something I enjoy (knitting) and use it to enjoy and get into the spirit of the Olympics. To be honest I can leave or take the Olympics. If I do watch any, it's pieces and bits. This leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and I'm feeling rather meh. There's a forum for new names for the competition. Almost all of the suggestions now have a negative spirit. The do-er in me wants to drive by the United States Olympic Committee office and give them the thumbs down. (I could do that ya know since they're in Colorado Springs...there are signs all over telling visitors so.) the do-er in me also wants to call and cancel cable so we wont watch the Olympics either but then Luke would be sad about missing Euro Cup, Basketball, Tour de France, and some tennis event coming up. Oi. Think he'll take not watching the Olympics lightly? 
Then again, maybe I'll just make some hexi-puffs with the Olympic rings on them. That'll show them. 

No comments: