They're at it again. This time, however, it has nothing to do with venues, events, or doping athletes. Nope, this time, it's all in a name. Make it one word, rather. Olympics. According to this article, the U.S.O.C. is threatening to sue the organizers of the Ferret Olympics if they don't change their name. The ferret olympics is an event held in Oregon, whose purpose is to raise money for ferret shelters.
The basis for the suit in unlawful use of a trademark. The U.S.O.C. says in the article that it has to ask approximately 50 organizations a year to stop using the word Olympics, and that if they didn't do so, the accumulated effect would hinder what they were trying to do. This makes sense. They have been so fastidious in keeping up their good name, it makes sense that the U.S.O.C. would want to keep good natured organazitions away from the association. Who needs those ferrets, anyway? Miserable, no good critters. All claws and teeth, and they'll sink those teeth into anything they can, either. I recall an event known as "ferret legging" is (mildly) popular in Britain. The idea of that is to take your pants, tuck them into your socks, drop a ferret or two in there, and then cinch up the waist so they can't get out. Whoever can go the longest without taking the ferrets out wins. Oddly, this wasn't in the ferret olympics. You can find more info on Ferret-legging here.
As far as the use of the word olympics goes, I'm actually a little surprised that it is trademarked. Duncan once trademarked the word Yo-yo, but lost a challenge because it was the "only" name for the toy. I know there are other names for multiple-event competitions, but olympics seems sufficiently generic to not warrant protection. Of Course, I would bet that the U.S.O.C. would have deeper pockets than the ferret-olympics organizers do, but I don't know that for sure. Anyway, you won't be able to see the ferret olympics anywhere pretty soon, and that's just sad.