Graduation Day – Welcome to the Real World

On the weekend I went to the graduation ceremony of the daughter of a close friend. I hadn’t been to one of these in a while and it was great. Proud parents, happy ex-students, and a sense of hope for the future.

Driving back in the afternoon, I was listening to the radio, Wave FM88, here in Bangkok, is the only 24 hour English language radio broadcast. The news was on and the first item – McDonald’s is sponsoring the Olympics, again. Saturday was also children’s day in Thailand.

What message does this send to our young, the inheritors of our future, our hope? It sends a message that money is what we admire above all. It sends the message that we are okay with allowing a company more responsible for child obesity than perhaps any other single entity or product; to be aligned with the pinnacle of human achievement in sports.

Olympic Committee you should be ashamed of yourselves. What you have done is disgusting.

Copied from the Olympic Charter (the highlights are mine)

1. Olympism is 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 of effort, the educational value of good
example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
– Just what part of good example is McDonald’s food?

2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development
of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the
preservation of human dignity.
– That would be Happy Meals harmonious would it?

3. The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal and permanent action,
carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC, of all individuals and entities who
are inspired by the values of Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its
peak with the bringing together of the world’s athletes at the great sports festival, the
Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.
– You should add the Golden Arches to the rings. Inspired by your values? No. Disgusted, yes.

4. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of
practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which
requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
– Being a really fat kid because you got sucked in by happy meals, doesn’t enhance the possibility of practising sport – how do Happy Meals fit into “fair play”.

In summary Olympic Committee – epic fail.