Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Olympic Tradition 

Athena (L) & Phevos: REUTERS/John Kolesidis Posted by Hello

With the start of the 2004 Summer Olympics only a few days away, it's great to see that the Athens games will continue an Olympic tradition. I'm not speaking of the lighting of the torch, world records being broken, or even new corruption scandals. No, I speak of the tradition of the reviled Olympic mascots:

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- They're getting more bad press than the Olsen twins, and worse reviews than the latest Spike Lee flick. Olympic mascots Phevos and Athena, siblings named for a pair of Greek deities, are catching an ungodly amount of abuse around Athens.

The pair were derided in various news articles, described as animated condoms and mutants from a nuclear meltdown. Their names were co-opted by anti-Olympic activists, who promptly firebombed two government vehicles in February.

Sheesh, these game have enough bad press with security concerns without people thinking the mascots added Political Violence to the list of medal events. Phevos and Athena are just the latest questionable mascots to emerge from the imagination of Olympic oragnizers, with the most infamous being the 1996 Atlanta Olympics' "gift" to the world, Izzy. The only Olympic mascot I remember that didn't suck was the 1984 LA Olympics' Sam the Eagle. Naturally I am biased, but those were still the best games ever, and the poor commies missed out on all the fun.

I just hope the games go well enough that the mascots remain the biggest problem.

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