With the 2012 London Olympics just a week away, we thought you should know something about the odder side of this mega-event. Our five favourites:
Friday 20 July 2012, 04:57PM
■ Being the supreme specimens of humanity that they are, Olympians have superhuman needs. That’s why, since the 1992 Games in Barcelona, they have been supplied with free condoms. For the 2000 Sydney Games 70,000 were supplied, and ran out. In Beijing the Chinese authorities supplied 100,000, while for London 150,000 will be handed out.
■ Streaking at the London Olympics will be frowned upon. High-speed strippers who are caught will have their bank accounts stripped of £20,000 – about B1 million.
■ Lots of frivolous souvenirs will be manufactured by people who think that sports fans are really, really stupid. And we’re not just talking cheap tat: Among the “official memorabilia” are packets of playing cards made from stainless steel and selling for £2,000 a pack. That’s about B100,000. Still, they should last longer than most of the rubbish on sale.
■ Heroic athletes require heroic amounts of food. For delivery to the Olympic Village will be 232 tonnes of potatoes, 82 tonnes of seafood, 31 tonnes of poultry, 100 tonnes of meat, 25,000 loaves of bread, 75,000 litres of milk, 19 tonnes of eggs, 21 tonnes of cheese and 330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables.
■ The London Olympics logo, designed by Wolff Olins, who charged £400,000 (B20 million) for the job, has been widely criticised, variously being described as looking like a Nazi symbol, and as Lisa Simpson performing a sex act on the city. Iran even threatened to boycott the games because the logo “looks like the word Zion”. Of course.
Influential design critic Stephen Bayley has described London 2012 mascots Wenlock and Mandeville as “patronising, cretinous infantilism” and “appalling computerised Smurfs for the iPhone generation”.