A Response On Behalf of The International Olympic Committee. (Draft.)
Hopefully El Reg will have learnt a lesson from this.
It's one thing to have a pop at corrupt sleaze-ridden self-serving enterprises peopled by power-crazed egotists as loathsome as they are venal, quite another to make The Olympics a butt of juvenile humour.
In truth, The Olympics represents all that's best about the human spirit and the capacity to prevail -- the "triumph of the will", as that notable historian Leni Riefenstahl so aptly put it in 1936.
The celebration of individual worth, the recognition of individual merit: though these may be principles all too readily mocked by El Reg's adolescent journalists, the Olympics movement has time and time again shown the benefits that accrue when such are courageously upheld.
Consider, for example, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the honourable friend of the even more honourable General Franco.
At a time when Spain was still locking up thousands of impoverished delusional citizens who believed Franco was a mass murderer and Fascism an intolerable evil, the Olympian spirit asserted itself and Samaranch, a humble rich man, progressed from being Franco's Secretary for Sport to the presidency of the International Olympic Committee itself.
Insisting, quite rightly, that he be now addressed as "His Excellency", rather than "that Juan over there", Senor Samaranch also, quite rightly, insisted that when travelling the world on Olympics business he stay in the finest hotel suites and be chauffered in the most expensive limousines. . .
. . . And that when he wasn't globe-trotting at others' expense, the IOC pay half a million dollars a year to maintain a presidential suite for him in a Swiss hotel within limousine distance of IOC HQ (a tidy sum, in total, seeing as how His Eternally Majestic Excellency was IOC President for 21 years.)
Talk about the transformational power of the Olympic dream! It doesn't -- it cannot -- get more noble than that.
Yet here we are in the UK, saddled with El Reg (which in view of its name, really ought to be mindful of its Iberian provenance) and its immature sniping at a global force for good that only two years from now will place a banana republic that hasn't even got a banana at the centre of the world stage.
Does El Reg not care about the damage it is doing to the London Olympics of 2012?
Does it not appreciate that at a time when the health of our nation (and especially, its young people) has never been at greater risk, the Olympics represents a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the life-affirming spirit of athletic endeavour?
Can it not begin to comprehend that were other media to follow the example of El Reg's reportage, this might ultimately lead to the withdrawal of the major sponsors of the London Olympics?
And then what will happen?
Where is London 2012 going to find multi-national corporations as selfless and as dedicated to the notion of health and fitness as McDonald's and Coca-Cola? Where is London 2012 going to be without sponsorship by Cadbury's? Commercial outfits as responsible as those three are few and far between.
And if they do pull out, what then the misery inflicted on a bankrupt populace desperate to embrace the Olympian ethos by watching the Games unfold on their plasma TVs whilst downing half-litre cups of Coca Cola and holding a bar of chocolate in one hand and a Big Mac in the other?
Are they to be denied these simple pleasures? These foundations for a better, brighter, healthier future?
No, El Reg. No.
It's time to grow up and start being responsible. The Olympic Games, the Olympic movement, the various Olympic Committees worldwide and the IOC itself: all have made, and continue to make, a contribution that -- as the record shows -- is utterly. . . unique.
Little wonder that companies as sensitive to their corporate image as AT&T and Cisco strive so vigorously to be associated with that contribution, knowing as they do that the opinions entertained by an enraptured public towards all things Olympian must inevitably rub off on them.
As, of course, is now the case.