Olympic Peninsula Map

The IOC wants to protect its Olympic brand. That’s understandable. They don’t want people using the word “Olympic” because they make a lot of money off of official endorsements, and they also don’t want their name to be tainted. That’s understandable.

Naturally, the IOC didn’t want businesses popping up in Vancouver to cash in on the “Olympic” name. They started to sue local businesses that had the word Olympic in their name.

That might work fine in many parts of the world, but there’s one big problem with that in Vancouver: geography.

Vancouver is located in Canada, just North of the United States border. Specifically, the State of Washington. Even more specifically, Vancouver is just north of the Olympic Peninsula (pictured in the photo).

I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula. I spent my summers camping at Olympic National Park. It was never unusual to see businesses with names like “Olympic Dry Cleaning” or “Olympic Realtors”, because in that area, “Olympic” is just a place designation, just as “Desert” or “Valley” is used to describe some businesses in Phoenix. It has nothing to do with the athletic competition.

The Olympic Committee later decided to only go after businesses that were trying to imply a connection between their business and the athletic competition called the Olympics. Good choice.

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