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SBD/August 6, 2012/Olympics
Wimbledon's Break From Traditions For Olympic Tourney Was A Sight To Behold
Published August 6, 2012
TENNIS TRANSFORMATION: In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote Wimbledon “had to be ‘corporatized’ and lobotomized” to host the Olympic tournament. The pinkish-purple associated with the London Games' logo “is everywhere, clashing badly with the original tones.” Players were “allowed to wear any colors they like, breaking from the all-white attire requested at Wimbledon.” Bickley: “It's an assault on the senses.” There also is “tape on the cash register, hiding the manufacturer's name.” There are “Coca-Cola displays on every counter,” and the Rolex brand “has been covered up.” Fans cannot buy “coveted club merchandise, only official London 2012 souvenirs” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/4). In N.Y., Filip Bondy wrote, “This was Bizarro Wimbledon, a satanic All-England Club usurped by the Olympics” (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 8/6). But SI.com’s Jon Wertheim wrote the All England Club "should be toasted for its hospitality." Playing the tennis at Wimbledon was an "obvious choice once London was awarded the Games, but what exactly did the club have to gain from this?" Wertheim: "Unclear. It's not as though the AELTC needs the exposure. Its courts get used for an additional four weeks, depriving members of play. Same for the locker rooms. The Wimbledon touches and corporate partnerships get diluted. Still, the members were sports and the tennis benefited as a result” (SI.com, 8/5).
A WIN-WIN: SI.com’s Wertheim wrote, “Tennis truly thrived in the Olympics. But let's be clear: The Olympics benefited from tennis as well.” The athletes “were terrific, hanging out at the Olympic Village, taking in other events when possible and betraying no entitlement. A total win-win” (SI.com, 8/5).