Group of Knitters Accidentally Insults the Entire US Olympic Team

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(Editor's Note: Seattle-based Jen, from The Magpie Knitter, had no idea when she participated in a knitting competition that she was somehow denigrating the Olympic Games and disrespecting the hard work of the athletes.  The U.S. Olympic Committee, however, felt otherwise and sent a cease and desist letter to the knitting-based social network Ravelry that hosted the knitting "olympics." Now, knitters like Jen and her friends are revolting.)


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Image: Striatic via Flickr

"My apologies to all, but most especially to the US Olympic athletes. Had I only known that by – please forgive me, but I’m going to have to use the word – that by knitting I was denigrating the Olympic games and disrespecting all your hard work, I swear I never would have done it. I can only plead ignorance."

"So I am so very grateful to the US Olympic Committee for bringing it to my attention and to the attention of all of the Ravelers who took part in the 2008 and 2010 Ravelympics:"

We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

"I mistakenly believed that by challenging myself to do things that I had never done before, albeit with needle and yarn, while cheering on these athletes as they pushed themselves to their highest level, was actually showing respect and support."

[UPDATE] The story was immediately picked up by multiple national media outlets and the USOC rushed to issue an apology. In response to their statement, The Magpie Knitter penned a new post including a response to USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky.

I’m willing to bet the uproar took the USOC by surprise…and I suspect I know why. In an Open Letter to the US Olympic Committee posted on the Crochet Liberation Front, Laurie Wheeler was the first to mention something I’d thought of – that crochet, knitting, and other releated handcrafts are traditionally considered “woman’s work” and discounted accordingly. The USOC may very well have assumed that the standard stereotype of old women in rocking chairs was all that was to be found on Ravelry. Well, if they expected us to take their insults quietly, to shamefacedly beg pardon for our wrongs and go away, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Regardless of our age – and yarn crafters fall across the spectrum – we’re strong and, as needed, loud.

Score: Old Boys' Club 0 vs Knitters 1

Read more from How many Olympic athletes have you insulted? at The Magpie Knitter


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