Jul
23
2012

Animals? At the Olympics?

Whilst there are the Loews Coronado Bay Dog Surf Competition, Crufts, and plenty of other events for our BecoPets throughout the year it dawned on us at BecoThings this morning that there is no animal Olympics.

Danny Boyle’s intention of using live animals in the Olympics opening ceremony to create his vision of our ‘green and pleasant land’ was unsurprisingly met with hostility from animal rights activists, earlier this year.

Including chicken, horses, sheep and cows (to name but a few) many worry of the safety of these animals and the resulting trauma they face. Yet, whilst it may seem a bizarre proposition, Boyle is only adding to the already strange history of animals at the Olympics.

Below we have summed up a brief history of animals at the Olympics, the good and the bad…

Of course in Ancient Greece, chariot racing was one of the events at the ancient Olympic games, the horses got off lightly, as their bovine friends were sacrificed on great pyres to the gods, the remaining meat fed to the spectators.

At  the games of 1900, pigeon shooting was introduced as a sport. The only sport of this kind ever to be hosted at an Olympic games, and was quickly removed from the line up. The event was terribly messy and was perhaps more ethically replaced by the clays used today.

Equestrian sport continues to be a popular attraction for Olympic spectators, with jumping originally dominated by the military. As the military became more mechanised civilians were able to take part. Dressage events also form part of the paralympic games.

This year’s mascots are somewhat unusual, if not unidentifiable, and out of keeping with the former animal tradition, where countries usually choose an animal symbol of their nation as a mascot. For example, the Moscow mascot was a bear, whilst the Sydney games used a platypus, an echidna and a kookaburra.

Since the uproar Boyle continues to use animals in his show, stating that they will be looked after better than the human acts in the show.

Rumour has it the animals demands are already somewhat steeper than the more celebrated acts, with livestock requesting udder massages, and kilos of fresh Salisbury grass. BecoThings patiently awaits its order of designer BecoToys and eco friendly Becobowls..

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