I am not very sporty but I appreciate watching talented athletes perform. So I will be looking forward to seeing some of the events in the upcoming Olympic Games.  Want to get into the spirit and ready yourself for lots of cheering for your national team?  Then check out Beth's DIY Olympic Rings necklace tutorial over at her blog, Remarkably Domestic.

I love how she used colored cord to wrap around metal rings. Another option is to crochet yarn around rings.  This tutorial is also inspirational for all sorts of ring clusters, not just Olympic rings.

It's also a free tutorial for personal not commercial use. So the USOC (US Olympic Committee) is not going to kick up a fuss about it. Especially not after the huge PR debacle they generated a few weeks ago when they sent a cease-and- desist letter to Ravelry, the 2- million member strong social media site for knitters and crocheters.

The USOC deemed Ravelry's Ravelympics as denigrating to athletes!  Ravelympics is an event where Ravelers are challenged to craft their personal best while watching and cheering the athletes on tv. The backlash was swift. After a firestorm of protests via email, Twitter and on the USOC Facebook site, they apologized - twice - for their poor choice of words. But they still want the name Ravelympics dropped and changed to Ravelry Games.  You can read more about it on Gawker and the NY Times.

What offended Ravelrs and other crafters a lot was the insinuation that knitting and crocheting were less noble achievements than sporting events never mind that it takes years of practice and skill to create something good with yarn. 

That crafts have been sacrificed on the high altar of commercialized sports can be seen in the disappointing story reported in the Daily Mail, UK.  Thousands of cushions hand crafted by volunteers (the elderly, disabled and family members) were supposed to be donated to athletes as souvenirs at the London Olympics. But London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games reneged on the deal because they feared it would anger sponsors. The project leader, Jane Cooper said, "It shouldn’t have been reduced to this. It means so much to the people who make the cushions."

It's unfortunate creative endeavors are so unfavorably regarded compared to the elite sporting event.  The irony is that there were once art competitions in the Olympics -  from 1912-1948! Competitors vied for medals in 5 creative categories -  architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpturing. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, used a pseudonym and won the gold medal for poetry in the literature section in 1912! The art competitions were dropped in 1952 in part because artists and writers could also sell their work and were thus not truly amateurs. A double irony considering professionals are now allowed to compete in the Games!

The defense of the trademarked Olympic logos is strongest in host nations because so much sponsorship is at stake. Remember the Games themselves are costly to host.  But if there were medals for creativity and persistence today, then they should perhaps go to Dennis Spurr, the British butcher in Dorset near where the sailing events will take place.  6 years ago he regularly put up sausage links in the shape of the Olympic rings in his shop window. That worked for 18 months until he was told to take it down.  He then tried squares with "2013" instead of "2012". Had to take them down too. No word yet if his latest attempt worked.  He said, "We've got five frying pans up there with smiley faces."

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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