Undoubtedly feeling threatened by the unprecedented public craziness of Charlie Sheen during the last week, well-credentialed insanity hotbed Iran issued a warning to the International Olympic Committee regarding . . . am I reading this right? . . . regarding the logo used by the 2012 games in London.
Bahram Afshazadeh, the secretary general of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, said in a letter to the IOC, “We have a National Olympic Committee?”
Just kidding. He actually said that the logo for the 2012 Summer Olympics not-so-secretly spells out the word “ZION,” and is, in his words, a “racist logo.” He proceeded to threaten(?) to boycott the London games. He also called for other Muslim states to oppose the logo.
The IOC retorted, “Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.”
Translation: “You are, as usual, completely bonkers.”
Putting aside for the moment that organizers for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will now have to worry about anti-Zoig or anti-Niog radicals hurling threats*, let’s look at what we might be missing if our Persian brothers decide to sit it out next year. Here’s how the Iranian contingent has fared in the last three Summer Olympics:
– In 2000, Iran earned 27th place, even winning a trio of gold medals, and finishing only two spots behind Spain in the final medal table.
– In 2004, the Iranians fell just short of Ethiopia in a battle for 28th, finishing in position number 29 by virtue of two golds, two silvers, and two bronzes.
– In 2008, Iran narrowly edged out Cameroon for 52nd place in the overall medal standings, although they did score one gold medal to go along with a bronze.
The guess here is that the Iranian NOC has spent the past three years frantically searching for a loophole to get them out of the Olympics altogether. This pretense for boycott would help spare Iran the embarrassment of putting their continued athletic decline on display come the summer of 2012. Add to the mix the bonus of taking a bit of the kook spotlight away from Charlie Sheen**, and the value of the move was self-evident.
The alternative explanation is irrational religious paranoia, and, well, that just seems silly, doesn’t it?
No statement yet on how Iran feels about cable television network “Logo,” but experts predict that they don’t like it one bit!
Iran threatening to pull out of the Olympic Games would be like me threatening not to attend my high school prom: They’re welcome to attend, but it really doesn’t matter one way or the other to the remainder of the participants if they’re not there, as they will in no way be one of the cornerstones of the event.
Go ahead and sit this one out, guys. Enjoy the break. See you in Rio.