SWITZERLAND – Iran have reiterated their threat to boycott the London 2012 Olympic Games, potentially leaving the International Olympic Committee with one less country to make up the numbers at the tournament.
Claiming the London 2012 logo spells out the word ‘Zion’, Iranian Olympic president Mohammad Aliabadi wrote to IOC president Jacques Rogge, insisting “the revolting act of reflecting Iran’s enemies in the logo is even more offensive than those ‘horrible excuses for mascots’ and one for which we are prepared to forfeit the defense of our 52nd place finish in Beijing.”
Iran is the first country to threaten to withdraw their participation at the London Olympic Games and the issue is being taken seriously due to the need to include nations that make the competitive countries look good.
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A spokesman for the IOC replied in a statement: “Obviously this decision [by Iran] presents a problem for the entire integrity of the 2012 games. We rely on Iran to fill spaces in the lower tiers of the contest and if they’re not present it will place a heavy burden on other nations to fill those all important places from 8th downwards in running, jumping and other events where physical prowess is reward with medals.”
Having previously dominated the lower ranks of the competition, Iran’s potential self exclusion from the Olympics would undoubtedly put more strain on countries such as Moldova, Armenia and Iceland to provide failing entrants to crucial non-podium places.
With the IOC looking to fill final medal rankings table places between 30th and the number of countries that compete, North Korea are said to be ‘on alert’ to pick up the slack – which they would be expected to then fumble and drop as they finished last.
This is not the first time the imagery, which cost a reported £400,000 to design has caused uproar, but designers Wolff Olins were said to be glad that someone had actually criticised the logo for something other than looking like an abstract representation of a psychedelic polygon orgy.
Seeking to affirm that , an IOC spokesman said: “The 2012 logo clearly represents what happens when wholly inadequate design is passed off as value for money and mixed with a complete lack of testing or consultation. There is no hidden agenda to speak of.”