Thursday, June 21, 2012


Dear USOC,

Your mission of “a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” (Olympic Charter 2004, Fundamental Principles, paragraph 1, 2) is admirable and I support it wholeheartedly.

However, your recent statement of "We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work." is also disrespectful of millions of crafters around the world. I fully support all the Olympian athletes, both US and non-US for their dedication, hard work and achievements in their endeavors. I cheer them on and feel for them when they feel they have fallen short (which they have not, they are the world's greatest athletes whether they go home with a medal or not).

I understand and respect your right to protect your trademark (within reason, and there is more than one instance where I feel you have lost said reason). But how is insulting millions of crafters, who, by the way, hold the purse-strings for your sponsors, promoting the preservation of human dignity? Let me tell you a few instances of how dignified, good examples crafters can be.

1. Knitters Without Borders
  which has raised $1,102,556 to date with a $2,000,000 goal.

2. The Linus Project

3. ChemoCaps

4. Scarves for Special Olympics (this should be a personal favorite of yours)

5. and a couple dozen others

So I'd say the 1 or 2 million people you have now insulted are very good at spreading their own personal version of dignity, goodwill and fundamental ethical principles. I think you need a bit more training before going up against them.

“Ravelympics” was begun several years ago in the spirit of the Olympics to support the Olympics and it’s athletes, not to take any glory away from them. A way for the masses to participate in spirit and unity with the athletes. To bring people together from around the world in unity and good will (starting to sound familiar here?). Yes, the name of the event will in all probability end up different, but do not think that you have gained anything. Just like the athletes who compete time after time, we will continue to spread our own version of “educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”. And if you don’t think knitting, crocheting, spinning, embroidery and other crafts don’t require “a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind”, you’ve obviously never tried it.


Tamara, a proud multi-crafter

ETA:  if you would like to read the letter to Ravelry go here  (log in probably required).

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