7 Responses to “10 facts about The Olympics & Junk Food Sponsors”

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  1. avatar George Henderson says:

    However, Cadbury’s do make the superior Bourneville Cocoa powder, which is my favourite drink, mixed with cream and hot water, or as a chocolate paste, just mixed with cream.
    This is wonderful (almost) zero-carb stuff and I will not hear a word said against the company that makes it, nor any criticism of their employing child slaves.

  2. avatar Taffhamster says:

    Further to Point No6, has anyone kept an eye (serious research or informal) on how many athletes say something along those lines in post-victory interviews? My reason for asking – I was reminded of Zoë’s comments about Rebecca Adlington last night, while discussing Nicola Adams. A friend posted on Facebook, singling out Nicola’s comment about going to Nando’s for dinner as proof of what a lovely, down-to-earth girl she must be.

    (I’ll digress and say this isn’t a criticism of Nicola – incredible achievement and she seems like a genuinely lovely person. Also Nando’s seems like one of the more Harcombe-friendly restaurants out there, looking at what people have said about it on the Forum, so I’m not bashing the choice of eatery either, particularly not if the namedrop got the official sponsors’ knickers in a twist!)

    I replied but – volunteering that it was probably a cynical view – added that perhaps it wasn’t as spontaneous a comment as it seemed, and that it wasn’t impossible that Nicola had some kind of deal with Nando’s or was hoping for one. (This based on the assumption that someone who’s reached that level in their sport will have been given at least some awareness or training on how to deal with the media. Also, Nando’s seems to be a bit of a cult, pop culture-savvy brand. Right now, it’s probably the restaurant chain that’s most namechecked by celebrities, and there’s a whole mythology about the “Black Card” – which supposedly lets the chosen few celebrities eat there for free, and the ones reputed to have a card could be categorised as mainstream or the cooler end of mainstream.)

    My friend agreed that yes I was probably being cynical and this was nothing more than a simple case of a nice, unaffected girl treating herself after all her hard work. Which may have been true to an extent. But I can’t help but wonder:

    How many athletes DO namecheck fast food places in post-victory interviews?
    How genuine are their comments (on a sliding scale from 100% spontaneous via hoping for a free lunch or two up to saying it because they’ve been briefed or even paid to do so?)

    I think my cynicism comes from a brand being mentioned (as opposed to, say, “I’m going to hug my nan” or “I’m off out for a family meal”.) And it often amazes me how defensive people get over junk food – “likes junk food” is shorthand for down-to-earth, one of us, and don’t dare to suggest there’s any hidden agenda, and even if you say, “Each to their own but I don’t like it”, you’re a snob.

    Sorry, waffling a bit here, but it was (ahem!) food for thought.

  3. avatar AnotherPerverseAthlete says:

    M, you state “I doubt there would be many enduring the pain and sacrifice it requires if we were not entertained by the struggle of competition.”

    You obviously don’t participate in any disciplined sport yourself, so you glibly comment with confidence about matters which you know little. Like millions of people worldwide, I exercise vigorously several days a week and have for decades now, with no concern whatsoever about the glory-mongering you trumpet as insight. (Where is the athlete’s “need for others” you speak about when, for example, I run several fast-and-hard miles late at night when, and because, all the road traffic is gone?) You’d never understand the motivation to do this, from your comments, but millions of athletes (with their endorphin surge addictions) do.

    You miss Zoe’s implicit philosophy itself when you claim vigorous physical activity (sport) is “perverse”. We evolved over aeons as runners and climbers and meat hunters and plant grazers. Recent development of humans into nutrient-deficient, cola-drinking, processed-starch-imbibing blobs of inactivity with frozen joints… that is where the true perversion lies — especially when our children are indoctrinated that this is “normal grown-up behavior” for them to emulate.

    The simple fact is that there’s immense financial profit in getting humans into this perverse state, and immense profit in “treating” our resultant afflictions.

    On your last comment about the “McDonald’s bashing”: reading the rambling comment itself, I’m not really sure what your point was for others to discover, or why you were attempting to make it here. Anyway, try a vigorous walk a few days a week for a while. Amazing what it can do for your mind and body, as you’ll discover for yourself (and no one else has to know — really! We won’t tell anyone).

    Cheers from the land of fried food, morbid obesity, chain-smoking, irresponsible drinking, disability-drawing, and “proud ownership” of legal concealed handguns by angry low-IQ folk looking for an opportunity to prove their manliness to others: red-state Tennessee, USA! ;-)

  4. avatar M says:

    Oh and I’m a little tired of the McDonald’s bashing. I don’t eat their food but they provide a very good service. And they’re not stopping anyone from eating elsewhere. The Olympics and McDonald’s are a great match. It’s a global brand a lot of people trust and clearly want. Where the people don’t want it; they don’t succeed.

    I went to the sea-side last weekend and the food and service on offer was an embarrassment. There were two options: Harvester and the local cafe. We went into Harvester and waited so long we gave up. Incidentally, while waiting we saw several chefs emerge from the kitchen wearing the dirtiest clothes I have ever seen. All of them. We proceeded to the cafe where the usual was on offer. The girl at the till was completely incompetent, she didn’t even know scampi was on the menu and was available that day. We paid £8 for a plate of six (previously frozen) scampi, a handful of previously frozen chips and a garnish of cucumber and quarter of a tomato.

    I would have happily walked into McDonalds that day. Sorry, but a lot of the food on offer in Britain is still either over-priced, substandard, masquerading as ‘good food’ or extremely good for a king’s ransom. Most people don’t care too much about food and this is why we have what we have.

  5. avatar M says:

    @ Kat. Really? No audience, no sense of glory, no sense of fulfillment. Athletes need others: to witness their successes; to pat them on the back; jumping for joy; looking up to them; talking about the win; recording their win; buying tickets; sharing the pain of a loss – you get the picture. I doubt there would be many enduring the pain and sacrifice it requires if we were not entertained by the struggle of competition.

  6. avatar Kat says:

    Thanks for the great post. Did you see this pic on facebook? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151045915766390&set=a.10150513517281390.403141.690656389&type=1&theater
    Someone made a comment about where sponsorship money would come from if McDonald’s didn’t provide it. I posted a link to your blog posting.

    And “M”, athletes don’t put their bodies through training for “our entertainment”, it’s for themselves and the fulfillment of their dreams.

  7. avatar M says:

    I suspect the only increase in activity I’ll experience, is my heart beating too fast while watching the 100m men’s final. Mercifully, it will only be for a few seconds. I enjoy watching sport but it is a perverse activity. When we consider what athletes put their bodies through for our entertainment I can’t help but think we are a strange and curious lot.

    We might as well accept the Olympics is a corporate event and as such their will be a lot of shenanigans and crap food. Beef and mash sounds nice though.