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Olympic sales found everywhere

“This torch is designed with the FIRE & ICE theme and beautifully represents culture and contrast …”

Well, well, well.



Looks like another Olympic torch is for sale.




Not sure what is meant by “beautifully represents culture,” but if someone is selling, someone out there with a spare grand or two is buying.

Oh, didn’t you know?

Yes, as fast as a select few runners in other parts of the country can carry the Olympic torch on its way to the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, they are turning around and selling it for profits in the 300 to 400 percent range.

And these same folk were selected to carry the torch for being “inspirational?”

Perhaps you are into something more pragmatic. Perhaps you’d be interested in the suit they wore while running.

Or didn’t wear.

Apparently some have never been worn, in case you feel uneasy about stepping inside someone else’s clothing. I mean, everybody has their standards, right?

If the torch is beautifully representing a culture, it is apparently the culture of greed. Unless the profits go to worthwhile causes, these on-line sellers apparently don’t know the meaning of irony.

Is anybody else torched by the money grubbing of the Olympics? Does anybody else choke on their pb&j while reading that $800,000 per athlete will be spent to make the Olympics the Real Thing?

Six years ago, I was sent to talk to advertisers in Chicago who had been selected as official sponsors of the Olympics.

While speaking with one talking head, listening to creative interpretations of how the Atlanta games would not be as commercially gaudy as games past, I asked what kind of revenue spike their company gets from being an official sponsor.

The woman looked at me as if I had asked her for a date.

After her thinly veiled look of contempt, she answered my question the only way she knew how – by turning and giving her attention to a television reporter standing beside me.

Those Olympics, by the way, had more corporate everything than any before.

Of course the Olympics can’t be done without dollars. One shouldn’t expect them to be televised commercial-free, though wouldn’t that be a grand gesture in the name of “bringing the world closer” and other such feel-good slogans?

Sure, everything has its price, including torches, but not everything bought comes with dignity intact.

The overwhelming number of torch bearers understand this. They are whom to think of when thinking of beautiful contrasts.

Vince Vosti writes about sports for The Union. You can write to him c/o The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 959545


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