back to article Iran to attend Olympics, despite 'racist' logo

Iran has decided it will after all participate in next year's London Olympics, after threatening to boycott the games over the "racist" logo. The 2012 Olympics logo The irate Iranian government recently fired off a letter to the International Olympic Committee, insisting that the graphic spelled out "Zion". They asked for it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Clearly rubbish

    First point: it spells zor not zion.

    Second point: it would be more believable if the logo offended the USA, Russia, China and possibly the Aussies. At least their would be a benefit on the medal tables.

    Third point: perhaps if the logo was more offensive, the Olympics would be cheaper? Might I suggest a tastefully arranged "p*ss off"?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "..perhaps if the logo was more offensive, the Olympics would be cheaper?"

      Given the fact that the logo cost £500,000 to design I'd say that it's already as offensive as it could ever be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Given the fact that the logo cost £500,000 to design I'd say that it's already as offensive as it could ever be."

        Remember when the logo was first unveiled and everybody said how crap it was? Back then some official or other stated that the logo was not static and we would see it evolve over time. Well it still looks the same to me, so that half millions looks even worse spent now than it did back then.

        1. John70


          The logo still looks crap from the day it was unveiled.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      It doesn't say "zor". Now that I have rendered attentive to that fact by good persians, the formerly chaotic pieces of broken glass indeed say "ZiON".

      Morpheus' team hacking the matrix again, trying to irritate the machines?

  2. Tom Servo

    Careful Dave,

    "PM David Cameron described the claim as "completely paranoid" and said the Iranians wouldn't be missed it they failed to show."

    And outside of boats and bikes, the same could apply to us - Glass houses PM....

    1. The BigYin

      Just boats and bikes?

      Pfft. You really don't give Great Britain credit. This is the *modern* Olympics and Great Britain stands to take home a clutch of gold medals in *modern* competitions:

      --- Lager relay chug-a-thon

      --- 100m blunder and chunder

      --- Tag-team street brawl

      --- Fake tan slop and slap

      --- Kebab chucking (contains no identifiable meat products)

    2. andy, bacup

      I agree

      This does seem to be an unnecessary slur on an entire country and its athletes. Does Cameron really make no distinction between a country and its government? Insight into his mind, or what?

  3. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    "the Iranians wouldn't be missed it they failed to show."

    Great diplomacy there Dave. The whole point of the Olympics is that it's meant to operate outside of politics. I'm pretty sure the hundreds of Iranian athletes who have spent their lives training for an opportunity at the Olympics, regardless of their governments paranoia and extremism, would be upset at the political leader of the host country taking that attitude.

    1. lglethal Silver badge


      I would suggest that the would-be Iranian Olympians would be far more upset with their own governments refusal to attend over something so petty (privately at least... I doubt theyd say anything publicly).

      I would expect if you were to ask any athlete who missed out on attending an olympics because of their countries political decisions (for example the Moscow games in 1980 or the Los Angeles games in 1984) they would probably be more angry at their own country then at the host country...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but he is a politician

      so a comment like this is to be expected. Just think about who starts all the wars, politicians; and it is with soundbites like this that they practice for the big event.

      With a little stretch of the dictionary, politics is derived from poly meaning many, and ticks meaning nasty little blood suckers. (Or from the BBC health definition of tics 'Tics are purposeless, rapid and repeated contractions of a group...')

    3. Handle this!


      Maybe DC sees an opportunity for the GB Boys and Girls in the Weightlifting, Wrestling & Taekwondo medal stakes since those are the only sports the Iranians have won Olympic medals in?

  4. Tim Parker

    Re : Clearly rubbish

    "First point: it spells zor not zion."

    Top to bottom, left to right, scanned as four letters *could* - in the wildest of captcha-esque reading - possibly be 'zion'.

    Of course the whole bru-haha is 'Clearly rubbish' - but I can't help thinking that had Iran said that they weren't attending because the logo was too shite - well, I don't think anyone would have taken issue with that at all...

    1. Handle this!

      Funnily enough...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Persians ?

    It's the new, post Islamic revolution Iranians who are objecting.

    The pre-Islamic Persians acutally gave Jews and others rights in the process of global empire building (though this is debated :

    Unlike Saudi Arabia and other arab states, Jews, Christians and other faiths live in Iran and even have their rights protected by the constitution (though, in practice, there is significant prejudice). There are Synagogues, churches etc. in Iran - you won't find a Synagoge in Bharain, Saudi etc. Of course, the right re: gender equality and sexual orientation are strictly in accordance with Islamic law (i.e. wofeful).

    Please put the ownership of this objection staright at the feet of the Islamic government, not the Persian population who are from a wide background and many of which are struggling to achieve a change of government.

    1. Code Monkey

      Touchy much?

      As I read it, the article makes it clear it's the Iranian loony govt rather than the Iranian people that have come up with this nonsense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Touchy much?

        You can't blame the guy for wanting to make the issue clear to all Britards and Ameritards who actually think that every Iranian man, woman and child is waving an AK and demanding the west's downfall.

  6. Avatar of They
    Paris Hilton

    It's Lisa.

    It's Lisa performing, we all know it. Someone had a very expensive joke on the world and I for one can't se anything that says Zion without seeing Lisa simpson in adult rated tom foolery first.

    Paris because... well she knows the same pose

    1. Daniel B.


      You know they've screwed up when the Goatse logo looks much better than the "official" logo!

  7. The Alpha Klutz

    PM David Cameron described the claim as "completely paranoid"

    before slapping his assistant and shouting "dammit I asked you to line this hat with tinfoil you oaf" and locking himself in a Faraday cage.

    1. annodomini2


      While a student hacks his communications!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offended Schmended

    The logo has already offended the USA, some 2 years ago. Check out prison planet and infowars.

    It has already offended the UK 1-2 years ago, check out David Icke's Website.

    Funny how the above never made it to mainstream media, is this new made up and pinned on the Iranians to discredit it?

    The floodlights are also in the illuminati pyramid design.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Offended Schmended

      "It has already offended the UK 1-2 years ago, check out David Icke's Website."

      David Icke != the UK.

  9. lawndart


    I was under the impression the logo spelled out "Open wide, Lisa".

    1. WorsleyNick


      When I first saw it, it said Schutzstaffel. Reminds me of the lapel badges of the SS.

      I joke note.

      We Londoners are paying for this Corporate and Media junket, and to massage the already inflated egos of Lord Ceve Stoe, Tony Pants on Fire and all the rest.

  10. Raggs
    Thumb Down

    It also says Ziv...

    Reading across the bottom bit it says Ziv in Hebrew, which translates into Brilliance (of the light variety) basically. Only 1 hebrew character out from Zion there...

    I prefered the swastika claims from a while ago.

  11. swisstoni

    Iron, like a lion, in 2012

    It's bonkers, you can take the letter's 2012 and rearrange them to sort of look like zion in pretty much any typeface, not just the ugly abomination chosen by the olympic designers. I don't think we can be blamed for the year, that would lie squarley at the feet of Pope Gregory XIII, or perhaps Jesus.

    If there really was a consipracy to have the word zion in the logo, then I wish they'd just used Comic Sans and saved us all a few quid.

  12. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    The truth...

    Take a look at the logo again.

    It's actually a streaker jumping over a hurdle with his tackle out.

    Methinks this is a subliminal hypnotic suggestion to all streakers out there...

    Come the olympics, we shall see....

  13. ByeLaw101

    PM shows understanding...

    "PM David Cameron described the claim as "completely paranoid" and said the Iranians wouldn't be missed it they failed to show."

    I think the PM has missed the point of the games, it suppose to bring countries together despite their political differences.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Well maybe

      The Iranians should remember that before going off on some batshit insane conspiracy. It sounds more like they're angling for an excuse not to have to turn up.

    2. Handle this!

      and ...

      isn't this more to do with religious rather than political differences?

  14. DrXym Silver badge

    Why leap for a stupid conclusion when an easier one will do?

    Stupid Iranians. It doesn't spell Zion, it's just a really crappy logo.

  15. FreeTard
    Thumb Up

    To be honest, it does read

    like Zion, that's what I got from it at first glance too.

    Just sayin.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What the hell direction are you reading it in then? It says ZOIZ if it says anything.

      I read from left-to-right on each line, and read lines from top-to-bottom on the page myself, and if I read it in that order we have first a thing that looks like a Z, then a thing that looks like an O, then we start again at the left-hand side of the bottom line where we see a thing that looks like an I followed by something that's obviously the same as the first thing and so must be another Z.

      I don't know of any language anywhere that reads top-to-bottom and left-to-right in columns, which is the only way I can see of getting that I to come immediately after the first Z. And why you get to decide that one of the two near-identical looking symbols is obviously a Z but the other one is obviously an N when they look about the same is a mystery to me.

      1. Handle this!


        Don't these guys read right to left, top to bottom in which case it says OZZI

  16. Anonymous Coward

    A pinnacle of design

    It takes real genius to create a logo that has simultaneously been misinterpreted as a swastika and as Zion.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Even better... looks like bacon to me. Why are people throwing shoes?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "irate Iranian government"

    It's very unclear from the reports exactly which official from which department of the Iranian government allegedly objected to the logo. It might have been a deputy someone from the ministry of sport for all they're telling us. (Useless journalists, again.)

    On the other hand, the prime minister, the PRIME MINISTER, of the UK making stupid and undiplomatic remarks like that ... that's embarrassing. What a twit.

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Well that worked well then!

    The whole point of a logo is to make the product instantly recognisible and raise awareness. Well with all this utter crap about Lisa Simpson caught-out, neo-nazi swastikas and now this utter madness, it most certainly is getting plenty of attention and plenty of discussion!

    You can't fault the designers, they certainly know how to stir up interest!

  19. Doogs
    Black Helicopters


    As Farsi (IIRC) is read right-to-left, surely it'd be more like Ozni or perhaps Ozzi?

    Funny enough Ozni is also of Hebrew origins... Bingo! Another conspiracy is born. :)

  20. Beachrider

    Iran has its own Glen Beck!

    I always thought that people who extract offense from symbols sometimes make it more about their desire to complain than about the object of their complain.

    We see this in the US Media, all the time.

    It isn't pretty there, either...

  21. JaitcH

    Does anyone know what it is supposed to depict other than poorly ...

    constructed buildings, or city planning gone nuts.

    What a sad example of logo design. Even the Festival of Britain was more memorable. See: < >.

    1. Captain DaFt

      It's simple... so they say

      It's supposed to be a dynamic, glitzy "2012", believe it or not.

      Frankly, some of the other stuff people are taking it to be seems more likely.

      Fail icon to the designers and the people that actually paid for it!

    2. Tempest

      Reject Lego pieces or Ikea furniture?

      Whatever it is supposed to represent, it sure isn't warm and cuddly with all those square corners.

  22. Nightkiller

    No No NO!

    It's Lisa and the Secretary

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To a talented artist, what it spells out is:

    "There are too many people here trying to tell me what I should be doing. Please can I have my hundred quid and go home now?"

  24. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Now we know

    the Iranians are turning up, is there anyway we can piss enough the rest of the world off so the rest of the world dont turn up

  25. David Paul Morgan

    It's clearly...

    ... An old fashioned shoe-shine boy that you used to see in the old films.

    No icon 'cos I'm posting from the mobile site.

    I hate this logo and the whole event is a "money pit"

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