The 2012 Olympics will be a great chance for parents to introduce their children to countless cultures around the world — an opportunity to show them that different isn’t wrong. In fact, different is right. For it’s all of our differences that make the Olympics so special. And when the nations of the world convene for two weeks to engage in countless contests, they do so as both competitors as well as members of the same world-wide community.
Sadly, it appears as if one of the members of the world-wide community has a problem with the logo that represents the event that is supposed to bring everyone together.
Bahram Afsharzadeh, the head of Iran’s Olympic committee, says that Iran is officially challenging the logo. The nation feels it’s racist. According to an article up on the Huffington Post:
Iran sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. The letter claims the 2012 logo spells out “Zion,” a biblical term widely recognized to refer to the city of Jerusalem.
Afsharzadeh states that the letter urges other Muslim states to oppose the logo as well. The International Olympic Committee has acknowledged receipt of the letter and has joined London organizers in rejecting the complaint. The IOC has issued a short statement pertaining to the matter: “Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.”
It’s too bad that an event which could be used to teach our kids the concept of tolerance and embracing differences has turned into an ugly episode denouncing those differences. But the 2012 games have started out to be just that. And we’ve not even gotten to the opening ceremony yet.
I remain hopeful that this mess can be worked out. I love the Olympics as well as what it stands for. And I want to use the games to teach my kids to embrace other areas of the world. It’d be nice if there were no silly drama accompanying a logo to get in the way of that effort.