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Iran Threatens To Boycott 2012 Olympics Over Logo

Iran Threatens To Boycott 2012 Olympics Over Logo

From the moment it was revealed, the London 2012 Olympics Logo has not exactly been what one would call “popular.” But up until now, its only offense had been its sheer ugliness.

The latest charge: It’s racist.

Late last week, the head of the Iranian National Olympic Committee, Mohammad Aliabadi, insisted that the logo secretly spelled “Zion” and was inherently racist against Muslim countries.

In a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, Aliabadi stated that “Unfortunately, we all are witnessing that the upcoming Olympics … faces a serious challenge, definitely spawned out of some people’s racist spirit. The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo ….in the emblem of the Olympic Games 2012 is a very revolting act.” 

He went on to threaten a boycott unless the logo is changed, saying, “There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran, which abides by commitment to values and principles.”

The IOC and the Olympic Organizers are having none of it. In a brief response, IOC President Jacques Rogge outright rejected Iran’s claims, stating “The IOC’s response is quite clear. The logo of London means the London 2012 Olympics, nothing less and nothing more.”

Given that the logo was launched in 2007, the complaint seems overly late – not to mention utterly futile. The logo has been used extensively worldwide to promote the Games, and would be essentially impossible to recall, even if the complaints were valid – which, according to my eyes, they are not.  

The logo can be found guilty of any number of sins, but racism? Certainly, if one wanted to disassemble and manipulate the logo you could probably make it resemble the word “Zion.”  I could also make it resemble the word “Noiz,” which could be seen as a hidden tribute to bad 80s metal bands

So while racism in all of its forms is to be avoided, the London 2012 logo appears, in this case, to be guilty of nothing except ugliness.

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2012 Olympic Logo outside Stratford station by Nigel Chadwick

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186 comments

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11:45AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

This is a great olympic logo. This should be used for every sports. I recently got some logo which has a sports logo and getting much exposure. If you guys want to get some please visit http://www.craftive.com/logo-design/industry/engineering-logo-design.asp

2:19PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Ugly it is offensive is in the eye of the beholder

9:38PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

It seems a bit like a Rorschach test. "what do you see in the ink blot?" Is it a butterfly or a Zionist? Hmm.. I think they are getting Zionists on the brain.

I will agree that it is the ugliest logo I have seen in years but Zion, Give us all a break.

If you do not want to go to the Olympics because you do not want to lose or you might have to compete against Israelis then just say so. No the only Racist comments seem to be coming from Iran.

1:49PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

The logo is simply an example of poor graphic design, nothing more. If someone in Iran has (rather late in the day) seen anything else in it, then they probably also enjoy reading pictures in a fire and spend hours finding recognisable images in the clouds. Either way, a boycott is their own decision. I just feel sorry for the Iranian athletes who will miss out.

10:00AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Don't like the logo but no reason to boycott.

7:27PM PDT on Apr 19, 2011

looks to me like sok

5:35PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

paranoid and psychotic statement

5:34PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

oh no problem since mohammed the prophet is a BIG TERRORIST AND MURDERER, pedophile, homosexual, rapist and general misanthropist, bigot and misogynist who want to murder unbeleivers and pagans and jews and christians....i should not the problem with there dillusional and paranoid request.

11:36AM PST on Mar 9, 2011

When I first saw the article and the logo I thought it was a gay rights thing. I don't really see zion I think they are just trying to start something. I do think they need to change it because it's ugly.

2:04AM PST on Mar 9, 2011

It's their right to boycott. Let them go, and continue with the logo. I'm just not seeing anything outright spelled out. I think too may people are too butt hurt too easily.

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