May 10, 2012
The Nazi Origins of the Olympic Flame Relay

The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics were to be, according to Arnd Krüger and William J. Murray’s history of “The Nazi Games,” a means of furthering Hitler’s ethnic and nationalist messages, a tool of Nazi soft power. Few aspects of the bizarre and highly political ‘36 games exemplified Hitler’s propaganda mission better than the Olympic torch relay and ceremony. Though propagandists portrayed the torch relay as ancient tradition stretching back to the original Greek competitions, the event was in fact a Nazi invention, one typical of the Reich’s love of flashy ceremonies and historical allusions to the old empires. And it’s a tradition we still continue today, with this morning’s lighting of the flame in Olympia, the birthplace of the original games circa 776 B.C., from which it will be carried by a series of relay runners to the site of the games, in this case London.
Read more. [Image: AP]

Woah.

The Nazi Origins of the Olympic Flame Relay

The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics were to be, according to Arnd Krüger and William J. Murray’s history of “The Nazi Games,” a means of furthering Hitler’s ethnic and nationalist messages, a tool of Nazi soft power. Few aspects of the bizarre and highly political ‘36 games exemplified Hitler’s propaganda mission better than the Olympic torch relay and ceremony. Though propagandists portrayed the torch relay as ancient tradition stretching back to the original Greek competitions, the event was in fact a Nazi invention, one typical of the Reich’s love of flashy ceremonies and historical allusions to the old empires. And it’s a tradition we still continue today, with this morning’s lighting of the flame in Olympia, the birthplace of the original games circa 776 B.C., from which it will be carried by a series of relay runners to the site of the games, in this case London.

Read more. [Image: AP]

Woah.

May 10, 2012

In Focus: Lighting the 2012 Olympic Flame

Seven years after London was selected to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Flame is on its way to England. Earlier today in Greece, performers dressed as priests and priestesses gathered for a ceremony in Olympia, the ancient birthplace of the Olympic games, where they appealed to the sun god Apollo to light the flame with the help of a parabolic mirror. The Olympic flame was then passed to swimmer Spyros Gianniotis to begin a seven-day relay through Greece, followed by a flight to Great Britain, where it will begin a 70-day journey, changing hands 8,000 times on its way to London.

See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]

April 25, 2012
Are London’s 2012 Logos the Worst in Olympic History?

After two years of ridicule, London 2012’s Olympic mascots, “Wenlock and Mandeville,” have at last found some fans. This week, fast food giant McDonald’s announced they would give away nine million free Olympic mascot toys modeled on the unpopular pair at their U.K. outlets, including at a vast temporary 1,500-seater restaurant planned for near the Olympic Park.
Setting aside the question of whether a monster hamburger emporium fits well with a celebration of physical prowess, McDonald’s decision to endorse the Olympic mascots is a rare vote of confidence for the Games’ visual branding. So far, London 2012’s visual identity has been among the worst ever, making this year’s otherwise well-planned games something of a laughing stock. Take those awful mascots, for example. Supposedly modeled on droplets of steel fallen from the stadium, Wenlock and Mandeville’s huge cyclops eyes make them sinister rather than cute. These widely parodied robots are essentially cuddly surveillance cameras. They’ve also been compared to sex toys and even linked to a cult conspiracy theory.
A more serious failure is the Games’ garish dog’s dinner of a logo. A slapdash mess in acid colors, it looks like its designers have accidentally dropped it on the floor, then decided to use the shattered pieces anyway. Modeled on the numbers 2012, it’s so mangled that the Iranians have claimed to see the word “Zion” in it, while bloggers have suggested it resembles something way too crude to print here. So far, no fresh visual success has distracted the public from the logo’s disaster – even Britain’s new Olympic torch looks like a cheese grater.
So why has London 2012’s visual identity been so poor? As Stella McCartney’s kit for the British Olympic team suggests, Britain isn’t without design talent. The shadow that Beijing’s Olympics still casts could be a possible source of London 2012’s visual diffidence, as British organizers have always been aware they could not manage the shock and awe spectacle of China’s 2008 Games.
Read more at The Atlantic Cities. [Image: Reuters]

Hello, nightmare fuel.

Are London’s 2012 Logos the Worst in Olympic History?

After two years of ridicule, London 2012’s Olympic mascots, “Wenlock and Mandeville,” have at last found some fans. This week, fast food giant McDonald’s announced they would give away nine million free Olympic mascot toys modeled on the unpopular pair at their U.K. outlets, including at a vast temporary 1,500-seater restaurant planned for near the Olympic Park.

Setting aside the question of whether a monster hamburger emporium fits well with a celebration of physical prowess, McDonald’s decision to endorse the Olympic mascots is a rare vote of confidence for the Games’ visual branding. So far, London 2012’s visual identity has been among the worst ever, making this year’s otherwise well-planned games something of a laughing stock. Take those awful mascots, for example. Supposedly modeled on droplets of steel fallen from the stadium, Wenlock and Mandeville’s huge cyclops eyes make them sinister rather than cute. These widely parodied robots are essentially cuddly surveillance cameras. They’ve also been compared to sex toys and even linked to a cult conspiracy theory.

A more serious failure is the Games’ garish dog’s dinner of a logo. A slapdash mess in acid colors, it looks like its designers have accidentally dropped it on the floor, then decided to use the shattered pieces anyway. Modeled on the numbers 2012, it’s so mangled that the Iranians have claimed to see the word “Zion” in it, while bloggers have suggested it resembles something way too crude to print here. So far, no fresh visual success has distracted the public from the logo’s disaster – even Britain’s new Olympic torch looks like a cheese grater.

So why has London 2012’s visual identity been so poor? As Stella McCartney’s kit for the British Olympic team suggests, Britain isn’t without design talent. The shadow that Beijing’s Olympics still casts could be a possible source of London 2012’s visual diffidence, as British organizers have always been aware they could not manage the shock and awe spectacle of China’s 2008 Games.

Read more at The Atlantic Cities. [Image: Reuters]

Hello, nightmare fuel.

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »