It’s so cold down there amongst the glass towers and the glassy-eyed families looking for any opportunity to buy a piece of the Olympic legend in the form of a stuffed doll or pair socks adorned with the rings.
My stepgrandmother gave me a pair of those iconic red mittens for xmas. Not wanting to wear them because I’m at odds with what they represent, they’ve been hanging on the key rack by our door, the merchandise tags still attached. Today I gave them to Sum, who will pass them on to her family friends visiting from Holland to support a Dutch athlete they know, as he competes at the games. She and I agreed that it’s the best thing to do with the mittens: Remove them from this local context where many of us are angry about the whole circus, and give them to people for whom they represent a more untarnished ideal.