2012 London Olympics: Why Is McDonald's Sponsoring Physically Fit Children?

July 30, 2012 10:09 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
The Summer 2012 London Olympics. (Photo: Creative Commons)

In a topsy-turvy bit of branding with super-sized dissonance, fast food giant and neighborhood lard dealer McDonald's announced earlier today that it has searched far-and-wide (read: across Canada) in an effort to select four children to send to the 2012 London Olympics as part of the company's Champions of Play program. These children will be invited to take part in a variety of activities and competitions at the London Olympic games.

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In their press release, McDonald's Canada claims that this is all part of their ongoing commitment to children and their well-being. Of course, we'll have to take that with a grain of salt (or, if we're eating one of their value meals, twice the recommended daily serving of sodium). McDonald's foods are among the first fingered in the blame-game of "why America's children are so fat." No innocent scapegoat, they understand that big shows such as this are essential to preemptively staving off bad P.R.

But luckily for these children, they'll get to have some good fun as part of it. While in London, they'll have the chance to go to Olympic events, meet their favorite athletes, visit all the tourist hotspots, and "interact with other McDonald's Champions of Play from around the world," whatever that means.

"At McDonald's Canada, we believe in the importance of inspiring younger generations," said John Betts, President and CEO of McDonald's Canada.

But they're missing, perhaps, the most vital and crucial bit of inspiration they could give the younger generations: don't eat at McDonald's.

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