A lunch counter in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market named Olympic Gyro received a cease-and-desist notice from the United States Olympic Committee and will have to change its name. Nevermind that the owner is Greek.
One one hand, yeah ok, they were using the Olympic rings logo and I’m fine with saying you can’t do that, but saying a Greek guy can’t use the name Olympic for his restaurant is like saying an American couldn’t name their business Liberty Real Estate or Rushmore Pizza.
The Olympics have turned into a bizarro-land of corporatism gone amok, where you have to get a special dispensation to sell fish and chips (sort of an English staple, yeah?) anywhere near the London Olympics because McDonald’s is the Official Restaurant Sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics and as such has the Exclusive Right to Sell French Fries (or “chips” in the local parlance). McDonald’s was kind enough to allow this only for the combination “fish and chips”, but otherwise, try to sell just the chips without fish and well you’re gonna be in some kind of Big Trouble.
There was a time where the Olympics were about sports at their most awesome1. Those days are long gone, and now the Olympics are merely another tactic mega-corporations to squeeze every last dime out of the populace.
The USOC should get bent, and bring the IOC along.
1 Now that I’m thinking about it, this time was probably before I was born.