FORMER AND CURRENT Olympic athletes have joined forces to protest against Dow Chemical as an Olympic sponsor. The campaign ‘Athletes Against Dow Chemical’s Olympic Sponsorship’ argues that the selection of Dow Chemical as sponsor is a direct contradiction to the Olympic values and Olympic Charter.
In an open letter, Athletes Against Dow Chemical’s Olympic Sponsorship presents a long list of Dow Chemical’s many health violations, such as being “named the second worst polluter by the American Environmental Protection Agency for emissions of toxic substances for 2010.” This, they argue, is a direct contradiction to the Olympic Charter’s pledge to “encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes.”
The decision to choose Dow Chemical as an Olympic sponsor means that athletes are now directly linked with a company that does not respect the aims of Olympism, the letter argues, and the objective of the campaign is therefore to create awareness among other athletes and to correct the IOC’s conviction that no one has any objections to Dow Chemical’s sponsorship.
The athletes behind the initiative feel that the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics, which all competitors and coaches must comply with in order to be eligible to compete in the Olympics, should also be applicable to all Olympic sponsors:
“Either the IOC declares the Code of Ethics and Olympic Charter void for everyone, or it decides to apply it to all participants, including sponsors. Having double standards is not what the Olympics is about, or so we would hope.”
Also the Indian Olympic Committee and the Indian government has asked the IOC to drop Dow Chemical as sponsor, as the company since 2001 has been the owner of Union Carbide that was responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed thousands of workers in Bhopal, India.
The IOC has so far rejected all claims to remove Dow Chemical from the list of Olympic sponsors.
Source: Play the Game
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Athletes behind the campaign
Walter Wu, OLYMPIAN, Canadian National Team member, Swimming
As an eight time gold, four time silver and two time bronze medalist at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Paralympics for the Canadian National Swim Team, I have always viewed the Olympics as the highest level of sport. I do not agree with the sponsorship of Dow Chemical for the Olympics.
Nikki Dryden, OLYMPIAN, Canadian National Team Member – Swimming
As an Olympic swimmer and human rights lawyer I oppose Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Once again the International Olympic Committee has placed financial considerations above the Olympic values. From the idea that the world’s top athletes should be supported by Coke and McDonalds to Samsung’s links to IOC members, it comes as no surprise that the IOC would join forces with a company like Dow Chemical.
Jon Kelly, OLYMPIAN, Canadian National Team member, Swimming
I’m a former Olympic Swimmer against Dow sponsoring the Olympics.
Jie-hyun Lee, OLYMPIAN, Korean National Team Member, Swimming
As an olympian for the Korean national team, I am against Dow chemical’s sponsoring the 2012 Olympic Games.
Marilyn Chua, OLYMPIAN, Malaysian National Team Member – Swimming
As an Olympian for the Malaysian National Team and UCLA Swim Team member, I am disgusted that Dow Chemical has been chosen to be a sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics after the thousands of lives they have killed and destroyed all over the world! They do not deserve to be associated with all that the Olympics stand for!
Elvira Fischer, OLYMPIAN, Austrian National Team Member – Swimming
As a former UCLA Swim Team member and Olympian for the Austrian National Team, I believe it is unethical that Dow Chemical is allowed to sponsor the upcoming Olympics. The harm and pain caused by Dow Chemicals is against everything the Olympic games stand for.
Brian Fell, American Record Holder – Track and Field
Please remember all the hard work, dedication and years it takes for each Olympic Sport! Please value the pressure and ideals placed upon every athlete from the strict IOC rules and regulations and place this same magnifying lens on the sponsorships who you decide to partner with.
I have always had the pressure to distance myself with teammates away from negative stereotypes like the controversy surrounding DOW Chemical while running for UCLA. My time running undergrad at UCLA consisted of multiple nationals titles and holding an American Record. I went on to run professionally with HSI International and competed in two US Olympic Trials during my Track & Field career.
Please do not tarnish these coming games by letting DOW Chemical anywhere near the Olympic family and brand. If money is the only interest with DOW, then the backlash will soon follow heading into 2012 games.
Thank you for your consideration.
Denis Charvet, French National Team Member – Rugby
En tant que finaliste de la coupe du monde de rugby, 23 fois sélectionnés avec le XV de France et trois fois champion de France, je suis profondément préoccupé que Dow Chemical a été officiellement sélectionné en tant que sponsor des Jeux Olympiques. J’espère que le IOC revoit sa décision. As a former French rugby champion and World Cup finalist I am deeply concerned that Dow Chemical has been officially selected as a sponsor of the Olympic Games. I hope the IOC reviews their decision.
Jennifer Noddle, Canadian National Team Member – Swimming
As a former UCLA Swim Team captain and former Canadian National Team swimmer, I do not support Dow Chemical sponsoring the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games embody health at it’s highest level, and a chemical company by it’s very nature deteriorates people’s health. This is completely counter to the Olympic Ideal.
Brent Sol Sallee, Canadian National Team Member, Swimming
I dedicated the first half of my life underwater with dreams of becoming an Olympian. Although I fell shy of that goal, I still had the opportunity to represent Canada as a swimmer at major games and events including the World Champs and Commonwealth Games. As an elite athlete it was mandatory for me to uphold the high standard of ethics and conduct outlined by the governing sport body and International Olympic Committee. In spite of this, it does not require the same ethos from its sponsors. Please read the following about Dow Chemical’s health and environmental violations. As a former athlete and a believer in the power of sport I do not want the Olympics to be associated with such an unethical company. It is no wonder the public views the spirit of the games with cynicism when it is associated with these kinds of sponsors.
Donna Wu Hand, Canadian, National Team Member – Swimming
As a former UNLV Team Captain and Canadian National Team Member, I do not support the decision that the Dow Chemical Company is allowed to be a sponser to the Olympic Games. To me, the Olympic Games represent the highest level of sports, perseverance, and health. I believe that the Dow Chemical Company does not embrace these characteristics and should not be a sponser.
Luisa Los Santos, Malaysia National Team Member – Swimming
Along with my fellow teammates at UCLA and as a former Malaysian national swim team member, I’m opposed to Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games. Dow Chemical should not have the privilege to be part of such a notable & glorious event! I can only hope the IOC reviews their decision.
Abdoul K Mbaye Niane, Senegal National Team Member – Swimming
As a former SENEGAL swimming team member, I oppose Dow Chemical sponsorship of the Olympic Games LONDON 2012.
Melissa Knox Tilburn, Canadian National Team Member – Swimming
As a former LSU swim team captain and and Canadian National team member, I am opposed to Dow Chemical’s sponsoring the 2012 Olympic Games.
Glencora Maughen Twigg, Canadian National Team Member – Swimming
As a former Canadian National Swim Team member and bronze medalist at Commonwealth Games I believe that the Olympic committee should be supported by companies that echo the ethics and values of the athlete that make international games worth watching: health, international respect and personal challenge. I do not support Dow Chemicals as a representative of those ethics.
Anita Chevalier, Canadian National Team Member – Swimming
As a former Canadian National team member and world class athlete, I disagree that Dow Chemical can be allowed to represent it’s company as an Olympic sponsor. The Olympics embody athletic greatness; pure and simple. Dow does not.
Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, Spanish Junior National Team Member – Swimming
As a former junior Spanish champion and captain of the UCLA Swim Team, I am appalled that Dow Chemical has been chosen to sponsor the Olympics. This company does not the spirit of the Olympics.
Alexandre Decret, French Junior National Team Member – Tennis
As a former member of the UCLA men’s tennis team and the French Junior National team I am dismayed that the IOC would find Dow Chemical an appropriate Olympic sponsor. This is an insult to the Olympics and athletes. En tant qu’ancien membre de l’équipe de tennis de UCLA et de l’équipe nationale junior française, je suis consterné que le IOC ait trouvé Dow Chemical comme un partenaire approprié des Jeux Olympiques. C’est une insulte pour les Jeux olympiques et les athlètes.
Brent O’Connor, Canadian Junior National Team Member, Swimming
As a former athlete, but more importantly someone that has been affected by cancer in my family, I oppose, and strongly condemn the selection of Dow Chemical as an Olympic sponsor. It unfortunately reflects the reality that the IOC is nothing more than a profit maximizing corporation. This is a profound disappointment.
Dr. Geraldine Schick, UCLA/Canadian – Swimming
As a medical doctor and former UCLA swim team member I am deeply concerned by the IOC’s decision to allow Dow Chemical to become a sponsor of the Olympics. Athletes, in the eyes of most, are the embodiment of health. When the second worst polluter of toxic substances in America for 2010 is entrusted by the IOC to be part of this supposedly healthy and ethical sports event, I begin to lose my faith in the Olympic movement. I hope the IOC decides to implement the same standards towards sponsors as it does for other participants of the Olympic Games.
Katie Younglove Zylstra, UCLA/American – Swimming
As a former UCLA swim team member, I am opposed to Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games. I am appalled by the atrocities the company has committed against humankind. Dow Chemical does not embody the values the Olympic Games supposedly espouses.
Peter Marshall, USC/Canadian – Swimming
As a former USC men’s swim team member, I oppose Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games. In my opinion Dow Chemicals does not have the values and ethics required of a company to be involved with the Olympics or any other event of this scope and magnitude.
Naoko Watanabe, UCLA/American – Swimming
Along with my fellow teammates at UCLA and other well respected athletes around the world, it was disappointing to hear that Dow Chemicals is an official sponsor of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Oath states: “…respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.” How can the IOC expect this level of integrity from the athletes yet accept sponsorship from a company such as Dow Chemicals to represent the same games?
Laura Segundo Hahn, UCLA/American – Diving
As a former UCLA diving team member, I oppose Dow Chemical sponsorship of the Olympic Games. It is unethical for a company to promote health and peace via the Games when it has caused so much pain and loss.
Sacha Schick, Canadian – Figure Skating
As a former competitive figure skater I do not support the decision to allow the Dow Chemical Company to sponsor the Olympic Games. I strongly believe that their affiliation with the event is disrespectful and shameful as they clearly do not share the same morals and values that the Olympic Games stand for. If they remain a sponsor I will not be watching or supporting the London 2012 Olympic Games. I sincerely hope the Olympic Committee reconsiders their decision.
Ashley Grissom Bélanger, UCLA/American – Swimming
As a former athlete on the UCLA swim team and a fan of the Olympic games and everything the games stand for I am against Dow Chemicals sponsorship. There is absolutely no place for Dow chemicals in the Olympic games.