Saturday, October 17, 2009

Changing The Design Of Olympic Medals: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Let me ask you a question:

Do you think the recipe for ketchup should be changed?

Ketchup. It's a condiment. Made from tomatoes. Used for fries and another fatty fried-potato concoctions.

Ketchup, according to my good friends at Wikipedia, can trace its roots back to 1801, when it was made from tomatoes, walnuts and mushrooms. The modern version you've come to know and love came about around 1913.

My point is: Ketchup as we know it has been around for 96 years. It hasn't been changed because it doesn't need to be changed. It's ketchup!! It's perfect in its current form. And if you don't like ketchup, there's still no point in changing it because whatever it was changed to, you wouldn't eat it anyway!!

Here are some other things that they got right the first time:



Paper clips.

And Olympic medals.

The last of these, unfortunately, are undergoing a dramatic transformation. Beginning with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Olympic medals are going to look badly formed radishes, with its curved shape and "I'm on acid"-like appearance.

The idea behind this, apparently, is to take into account the uniqueness of the Vancouver landscape, with its ocean waves, drifting snow and mountainous landscape. Additionally, every medal will be unique. Everyone who wins a medal in 2010 will have something that's one of a kind.

So essentially:

After 114 years, it was decided that the current shape and size of an Olympic medal -- you know, round -- was no longer good enough for the Olympic community at large. So they decided to add some curves to it because...

...well, I guess it beats making them square.

But we can't stop there. Each of the medals has a unique hand-cropped section of the abstract art, making every medal one of a kind. Because apparently, just winning an Olympic medal -- which, last I checked, wasn't the easiest thing in the world to do -- no longer carried the same weight. Now it's not enough to win a medal in 2010. My medal has to look different from the dude who won in the same medal in the same event in 1976.

I mean: C'mon.

What I'm saying is: Olympic medals are one of the things they got right the first time. They don't have to change it. A tweak here and there? Fine. Make the paint with less lead. Make the medal strap a little firmer. All acceptable things. But don't change it completely!! What the hell is wrong with you?!? While we're at it, let's add green to the American flag. Let's make the steering wheels on cars octagons. Let's dye salt purple.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Another thing that shouldn't be changed.


And now for this week's:


NBA legend Kareen Abdul-Jabbar was recently on an episode of celebrity Jeopardy and he was asked a question about a line in a movie that he delivered.

And he got it wrong!!

It's OK, Kareem. As a lifelong Laker fan, I still love you.


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