Athletes often turn to advertising for income.
But seldom do they turn themselves into advertising, as speed skater Apolo Ohno did last night in an interview with NBC’s Al Michaels prior to the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics.
What was Apolo thinking strapping this billboard on his forehead? What was NBC thinking, allowing him to wear it for the interview? (I certainly know what 8 Zone, a nutrition supplement company, was thinking—Ka-ching!)
I’m not naive: We’ve come a long way from the days when being an amateur athlete meant “for the love of” (amo, amare, amavi, amatus).
But that doesn’t mean that Olympic athletes, in competition, should be allowed to start plastering themselves with any other logo but the flag of their country.
Need I say it: It’s a slippery slope. Oh, no…….